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Cuyahoga County Arts and Culture board votes to ask County Council to put cigarette tax increase on November ballot


Date: April 29, 2024


CLEVELAND, Ohio — Board members of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, the government agency that distributes cigarette tax money to the arts, voted unanimously on Monday to ask Cuyahoga County Council to approve a November ballot item that would enable county voters to increase the tax from 1.5 cents to 3.5 cents per cigarette.

The tax could raise an estimated $160 million between 2026 and 2035 and bolster revenues that have declined sharply since voters first approved the tax in 2006. In its first year of funding, the 10-year tax produced roughly $20 million for arts and cultural organizations across the county.


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Cuyahoga Arts & Culture resolves to place cigarette tax increase on November ballot

Source: ideastream, Kabir Bhatia

Date: April 29, 2024

Abstract: Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has taken its first step toward increasing the county cigarette tax from 30-cents-per-pack to 70 cents.

At a special meeting Monday, the board approved a resolution asking County Council to place an expansion of the tax on the November 2024 ballot. The new amount is estimated to generate about $160 million over the next decade.

The 70-cent figure was decided after extensive research, according to Jeff Rusnak of R Strategy Group.

“The voters really respect and admire our arts and cultural sector,” he said. “They have invested in it for nearly two decades and that has paid off. Three-and-a-half cents per cigarette is a small ask that produces really big impact.”

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CAC Trustees Approve a Resolution Requesting November Tax Levy to Fund Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Through 2035

CAC Trustees Approve a Resolution Requesting November Tax Levy to Fund Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Through 2035

Replacement Levy Could Generate $160M Over 10 Years, Expand Public Investment in Hundreds of Nonprofit Arts Organizations

CLEVELAND (April 29, 2024) – Today, the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Board of Trustees approved a resolution to Cuyahoga County Council requesting a tax levy be placed on the November 2024 ballot to replace and expand CAC’s dedicated tax resource.

The resolution, approved unanimously by CAC’s Trustees in a public meeting, formally requests that Cuyahoga County Council submit the question of the replacement levy to Cuyahoga County voters at the November 5, 2024 general election. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s sole revenue source is a tax on cigarettes sold in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The tax would continue to provide public funding for the operations of Cuyahoga County’s arts and cultural nonprofits.

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