CLEVELAND – The campaign to renew the sin tax is getting support from organized labor.
The North Shore Federation of Labor says it is backing Issue 7 on the May 6 ballot.
The measure calls for renewing the existing tax on alcohol and tobacco in Cuyahoga County for 20 years. Revenue from the tax would be used on repairs at the publicly owned sports stadiums in the city: Progressive Field, Quicken Loans Arena and FirstEnergy Stadium.
"This is an existing tax and it generates multiple benefits for Cuyahoga County and for workers here," said Harriet Applegate, Executive Secretary of the North Shore Federation of Labor – which represents 146 unions in Greater Cleveland.
Dave Wondolowski, Executive Secretary of the Cleveland Building & Construction Trades – which represents craft unions - said he is strongly urging his members to vote yes on Issue 7.
"There are so many reasons why renewing this small tax makes sense," Wondolowski said.
"I usually start with it means jobs for our members," he said. "But it also means that these buildings will be maintained, meaning they will continue to be important, impressive parts of downtown Cleveland – where there is now a multi-billion revitalization occurring."
The Keep Cleveland Strong Campaign which is spearheading the renewal says it welcomes the addition of organized labor as supporters.
Not everyone is in favor of renewing the sin tax. A new group, The Coalition Against the Sin Tax, is hoping to make its case to voters primarily through social media -- a website and Twitter handle.