UPDATE: Linn Co. supervisors prepare for Voter I.D. bill

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Linn County Supervisors say Iowa lawmakers look ready to pass a Voter I.D. bill and that will mean a higher property tax levee for county residents to meet the requirements of the law.

Voter I.D. has passed the Iowa House, but not the Senate. But supervisors on Monday said they have to assume the bill will pass in final form and the government will sign it.

So the search is on now for the funding to prepare for the changes that would require anyone showing up at the polls to show a government-issued identification.

Joel Miller, Linn County Auditor, estimates it will cost the county slightly more than $300,000 in one time start up costs to purchase the electronic equipment necessary to use at polling precincts.

Miller said he argued against the House bill last week, but that time has now passed.

"My overall concern is this is much ado about nothing that it's really unnecessary. But we're beyond that argument and we're at the point this is what the legislation is going to be," Miller said.

Supervisors sat down with Miller on Monday to look at the options. Supervisors were prepared to increase the county tax levy by $.03 per thousand dollars of value. That would have brought in approximately $318,000 in property tax receipts in the new fiscal year beginning July 1st.

However, supervisors have passed the deadline to amend the county's budget for the coming year. Stacey Walker, a county supervisor, said county leaders want the public to know that increase is coming unless the state provides funding to help pay for implementing Voter I.D.

"We're telling voters right now Republicans in the general assembly in the legislature are passing legislation that would force us to raise levy rates or cut essential services that folks rely on," he said.

Auditor Miller believes the $300,000 in start up costs is just the beginning. He said there could be on-going costs for issuing I.D. cards and other expenses required by the bill.