Linn County Towns Decide How They'd Spend Sales Tax Proceeds

By James Q. Lynch, Reporter

(David Scrivner/SourceMedia Group)

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By Richard Pratt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Linn County cities are likely to spend the bulk of revenue from a 10-year extension of the local-option sales tax to improve streets and other city systems.

Voters will be asked to extend the 1 percent local-option sales tax during municipal elections Nov. 5.

In Hiawatha, where revenue from the tax amounted to $887,000 last year, the City Council has gone on record as supporting an extension. The council voted in August to use up to 10 percent of the revenue for property tax relief. The remainder, according to resolution, can be used for retiring outstanding debt, water, sewer and street improvements, public safety, library and park and recreation improvements.

Next door in Robins, the council also plans to use the revenue – if voters approve the extension – on street, water, and sewer construction, reconstruction or repair as well as economic development and other community improvements projects.

In Fairfax, City Clerk/Treasurer Cynthia Stimson said the council approved a resolution to spend the revenue on “any lawful purpose.”

In the past, she said, the council has used the revenue for new equipment, park and street improvements and a variety of other projects.

“The council is waiting to see if the extension passes before making specific plans,” she said, “but I assume they will use it for the same sorts of things.”

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