Committee Finds Many in Cedar Rapids Back Sales-Tax Extension to Fix Streets

By Rick Smith, Reporter

The Cedar River flows through downtown Cedar Rapids on Sunday afternoon, June 2, 2013 after its early-morning crest of 18.23 feet. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)


By Katie Stinson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A phone survey paid for by the Fix the Street Committee has found that 67.8 percent of Cedar Rapids voters will definitely or probably vote yes on Nov. 5 to extend the city’s 1-percent local-option sales tax for 10 years to repair city streets.

The survey of 400 local voters found 8.8 percent of those called will definitely vote no and another 17 percent probably will vote no. Another 6.3 percent were undecided. Of the 67.8 percent on the yes side, 43.3 said they would definitely vote yes, 24.5 percent, probably yes.

The poll was conducted for the pro-tax-extension committee by Victory Enterprises Inc., Davenport.

Mayor Ron Corbett, who is seeking re-election to a new four-year term and who is running 200 miles of city streets to promote the tax-extension issue, said the Fix the Streets Committee’s polling confirms earlier polling he did himself and seems to indicate that Cedar Rapids voters are open to using revenue from the sales tax to fix streets rather than using revenue from property taxes.

“And now I hope people, over the course of the next 30 or so days, look at the issue and figure out that the best route is to use the sales tax so that those who come into the city and use our streets help to pay to fix them up,” he said.

Don Thomas, former Cedar Rapids city streets commissioner, is the chairman of the Fix the Streets Committee, and he said it’s clear that the city’s streets need attention. Using the sales tax to fix them “more fairly shifts the cost” to everyone who uses them, he said.

The Fix the Streets Committee has posted this YouTube video:

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