Linn Supervisors Support Request for Vote on 10-year Tax Extension

By Rick Smith, Reporter

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By Katie Stinson

CEDAR RAPIDS – Cities in the metro area are the ones that want to ask voters on Nov. 5 to extend the metro area’s 1-percent local-option sales tax for 10 years.

However, state law gives county boards of supervisors the power to set the length of time of the tax on the ballot question. And on Monday in routine fashion, the Linn County supervisors said they will abide by the wishes of Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Robins and Fairfax and let them ask voters for a tax extension of 10 years.

All other jurisdictions in the county except Walford already have extended the sales tax into future years for their jurisdictions while it is set to expire in the metro area on June 30, 2014.

Walford also will vote Nov. 5 to extend the tax. Walford, which is not one of the metro cities that vote as one block on sales-tax questions, can seek an expiration date on the tax extension different than 10 years, Tim Box, the county’s deputy auditor, said on Monday.

Box said the city councils in the jurisdictions voting on Nov. 5 have until Aug. 30 to inform his office of the exact ballot language they intend to use.

The Cedar Rapids and Marion councils already have approved their ballot language.

Cedar Rapids will use 100 percent of the revenue from the extension of the sales tax for “the maintenance, repair, construction and reconstruction of public streets.”

Marion will use 70 percent of its revenue for “street and sewer construction, reconstruction, repair and improvements,” and 30 percent for “community projects consisting of any general or essential corporate purpose.”

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