Cuyahoga County now facing more than $1 billion in debt, according to report

New report shows county now $1 billion in debt
Posted at 10:50 PM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-07 11:50:49-04

Cuyahoga County now has more than $1 billion dollars in outstanding debt according to a report released by The Center for Community Solutions.

The report shows Cuyahoga County is $300 million more in debt than Hamilton and Franklin counties, the other two largest counties in the state of Ohio.

According to the report, Cuyahoga County has the highest amount of debt per capita with more than $861 in debt for every resident in the county.

Center for Community Solutions Policy Planning Associate William Tarter Jr. told the payments on this huge debt load will be growing in the coming years.

"We want people to understand the impact of those numbers," said Tarter. 

"The estimated payment this year will be over $78 million in debt service, and it will climb to 100 million by 2020."

Cuyahoga County Finance and Budgeting Committee Chairman Dave Greenspan explained the county will not adding anymore debt in the coming years, and said the issue will be the main topic during the upcoming mid-year budget review in November.

Greenspan said taxpayers shouldn't be concerned about the more than $1 billion in debt because 60 percent of that debt is supported by other tax sources.

Greenspan said taxpayers shouldn't be concerned about a tax increase in the near future, and explained Cuyahoga has more debt than Hamilton and Franklin County because of some key projects like the new convention center.

"Although ours is higher than theirs, we have a few other working projects and activities in our county that are contributing to our over all growth and success," said Greenspan.  "The convention center is clearly one of those activities."

"I can tell you there is no appetite right now from me, or from any of my colleges, or from the executive to increase taxes whatsoever."