If you are a smoker or a drinker living in or visiting Cuyahoga County, voters will decide if you'll keep paying a little extra for your so-called "sins."

It's on the May 6 ballot.

On Tuesday, officeholders, business and union leaders and downtown stakeholders lined up behind the proposal to extend the current tax on cigarettes and alcohol 20 more years.

The money raised, estimated to be up to $360 million, would be spent on upkeep of Progressive Field, the Q and FirstEnergy Stadium.

The campaign will be primarily about the public facilities and their role in bringing people and dollars to a thriving downtown.It won't be about the teams.

Representatives of the Indians, Cavs and Browns showed up, but stayed in the background.

The slogan will be "Keep Cleveland Strong." It's borrowing a word that worked in November. "Strong" was part of the slogan used to pass the Cleveland Port levy.

Voters then approved countywide taxes for the Port, Cleveland Metroparks and Health and Human Services.

Sin tax backers are out to convince the public that the renewed tax of pennies per pack of cigarettes or a drink of beer, wine or liquor is a small assessment that helps provide a much bigger benefit -- the revitalization of downtown.

The three stadiums are being credited with a $4 billion-plus impact since they opened.

Mayor Frank Jackson was there lending his support. He opposed the first two renditions of the tax to build Gateway and FirstEnergy Stadium.

But that was then. This is now.

Gateway and its lease obligations are a reality. And the city and county don't want to be forced to make program or personnel costs to cover stadium repairs.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald did not attend the event, although he was in town. That prompted some off-the-record "Where's Ed?" comments from other participants.

In a press release, he said, "This is an important issue. And it's an issue that I will support, regardless of the political consequences, because extending the sin tax means protecting critical human services."

The Greater Cleveland Partnership's Joe Roman said the tax is about preserving the buildings and guaranteeing future generations of Northeast Ohioans special moments and memories that professional sports and concerts provide.

Positively Cleveland's David Gilbert said keeping the facilities in good shape is important in helping draw events and large numbers of non-county residents to the city, They pay the tax too.

Roman would not estimate the campaign's cost, but said it would be big enough to sell the message.

Opponents so far include longtime community commentator Roldo Bartimole; very, very longshot county executive candidate Tim Russo; and former TV adman Alan Glazen.

It's unclear if the liquor and/or restaurant lobby will will come out against the tax too.

Roman addressed opponents' focus on original Gateway campaign ads' exaggerated or bogus claims, including 28,000 good jobs. Roman said facilities may have under-delivered on jobs but brought in other benefits that are greater than expected.

Fourth Street Developer Ari Maron and Zack Bruell both said the tax was vital to downtown vitality.

TV ads are expected to begin next month.

The only publicly discussed polls show the issue trailing but gaining.

If the Cavs get in the playoffs, the Indians are in first place on Election Day and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam can avoid more legal problems, the outlook for the tax's passage would be much "stronger."

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