Taxes, sports, and rock and roll

While Mayor Michael White has paid more attention to neighborhood housing than his predecessor, he by no means has changed the focus of city government away from downtown, as might be surmised from the article "Cleveland Mayor Tells Story of City's Rebound," Aug. 12.Indeed, White campaigned for a regressive $275 million tax on beer, cigarettes, and liquor to pay for a new stadium for the Indians and an arena for the Cavaliers. He now wants neither facility to pay property taxes, though his campaign literature estimated $80 million in tax revenues over 20 years. The mayor has campaigned vigorously to offer a tax plan that would divert 75 percent of taxes from the city's newest and largest downtown development of offices and luxury stores, called Tower City, to finance the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum strongly desired by downtown business leaders. In both cases, White will be giving up taxes that would have gone primarily to the Cleveland schools, which now face a $32 million deficit. The mayor wonders where the federal government's priorities are, but some observers in Cleveland wonder where his are. Roldo Bartimole, Cleveland

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