Cuyahoga County's Health and Human Services levy -- Issue 1 -- launched its campaign Monday.
It's an important issue that will be at the top of the Cuyahoga County ballot containing three or four property tax issues, depending what community voters live in.
The Health and Human Service levy supports important services to children, seniors, families and accident victims.
It's an increase of the present levy. It's five years. It would bring in $106 million. That's a $27 million increase, costing the owner of a $100,000 home $46 more per year.
A handful of patients and clients whose lives have been impacted are telling their own compelling personal stories.
Jen Scibana was in a car accident in 2011. She was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center by a LifeFlight helicopter and lived in the intensive care unit for one month with serious injuries.
"I would have died. I would not be living. I would not be here today," she says.
She is working for Issue 1.
And 87-year-old Evelyn Briskar lives at home with the assistance ofa visiting worker in the Options program who helps with household chores.
"It's real important to me to live at home and, without Options, I don't think I'd be able to," she said.
Issue 1 funding accounts for about 4 percent of MetroHealth's budget.
If it fails, CEO Dr. Akram Boutros says, "We'll look at program closures, and we'll probably look at layoffs. ... It would be a disaster we're honestly not prepared for."
Cuyahoga County voters will also face a Cleveland Metroparks levy that will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $30 more a year.
And there's a Port levy renewal keeping the $3.50/year that a homeowner now pays.
Several school districts, including Solon, have issues on the ballot. Solon's would include a small increase.
Solon taxpayer Bernie Zawitz complained about the levy pileup.
"We don't need the extra taxes, period. I'm against them all. I'll vote against all four of them, " he said.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald downplayed the multiple levies.
"There's always multiple levies on the ballot. ... People have to make a decision about what's important and what they want the community to be like," he said.
Cuyahoga County voters have passed 16 of the last Health and Human Services levies, dating back to 1978.
Polls show the levy passing. It'ssupported by both Democrats and Republicans on the Cuyahoga County Council.
Councilman Pernel Jones Jr. said, "The residents of this community have a big heart and they will make the decision to vote for themselves."
State and federal program cuts contribute to the need for more local money.
And all new property taxes will cost owners 12.5 percent more because the state of Ohio just discontinued picking up that share.