If the right action is taken, our region can be prosperous.
In a time of extreme economic downturn, global competition for businesses and jobs is at its peak. Alone, our major cities – Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Lorain, Warren and Youngstown - are not large enough to compete in the global marketplace. The time for collective action is now or our region will suffer further economic decline.
During the first phase of our initiative, known as the Regional Economic Revenue Study (RERS), we examined existing revenue sharing and land use planning programs in other regions of the nation to identify best practices, closely examine the structure of local government, identify local revenues in Northeast Ohio and determine the applicability of examples from other regions to the situation in Northeast Ohio.
The research showed:
Northeast Ohio has failed to grow at the same pace as other regions of the U.S. that do collaborate and plan for regional growth. If we plan for growth, we believe we will generate more growth.
Several high growth regions, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, have used new growth revenue sharing to accelerate economic growth in ways that benefit the entire region - instead of a few communities at the sake of others within the same region. New growth revenue sharing has proven to be a successful mechanism and incentive for collaboration versus the destructive, “go-it-alone, winner-take-all” mentality that currently exists in our region.
Land use planning and new growth revenue sharing are interrelated. For example, one of the primary goals is to minimize economic “poaching” between communities. If this practice is curtailed, then thoughtful decisions need to be made about where to locate new business and industry. In making these decisions, costs can be minimized by using existing facilities and infrastructure such as water, sewer, and roads that are necessary to support business development. If existing facilities and infrastructure are utilized to their fullest, costs can be contained for greater efficiency within government – and for businesses and tax payers which the costs are typically passed onto. Land use planning coupled with new growth revenue sharing has produced multiple benefits for other regions.