Iowa City and Coralville play waiting game for L.O.S.T. tax results - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City and Coralville play waiting game for L.O.S.T. tax results

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by Bryan Goettel

JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) - The vote was just Tuesday night, but it will be several days before Iowa City and Coralville get official word on the fate of the local option sales tax.

Not until next Tuesday's canvas will the results become official.

Until then, the auditor's office will count a handful of absentee ballots while volunteers on both sides of the proposal cross their fingers.

A day after Johnson County's local option sales tax vote left Iowa City and Coralville too close to call, more absentee ballots trickled into the auditor's office.

"There's not many out and it's unlikely that it would change the result, but there's always that possibility," Johnson County Auditor Tom Slockett said.

Volunteers on both sides of the tax proposal expected a tight battle. It's how things sit now that most didn't expect.

"I really think the results turned conventional wisdom on its head," said Slockett. "I think almost everyone expected it to pass in Coralville and a lot of people thought that it may not pass in Iowa City."

What to expect from here? A recount could be in the works.

"You don't have the same confusion issues that you would have on say, a general election with a great long two-sided ballot," Ax the Tax co-chair Deborah Thornton said. "I really don't think a recount will change anything."

If the tax ends up failing in Iowa City, plans remain in place to move forward on flood protection projects like raising the Park Road bridge.

"I had to remind myself at the end of the day these projects are going to be accomplished," Yes for All co-chair Steve McGuire said.

"Plan A is we use the local option sales tax for match as other funds come in," Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey said. "Plan B is we'll find a way to pay for it through our capital improvements projects, or our program there."

There is the possibility for a re-vote among the cities that didn't pass it, much like we saw Tuesday night in Linn County.

The cities that didn't pass it would have to request a re-vote from Iowa City and the Iowa City council would have to call the election.

A re-vote would be at least three months away.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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