Linn Co. local option sales tax could have separate sunset dates - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Linn Co. local option sales tax could have separate sunset dates


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- While the City of Cedar Rapids may want their local option sales tax to last for 20 years, that may not be the case for every city in Linn County.

The Linn County Board of Supervisors passed a motion Monday to consider requests from municipalities for separate sunset dates for the tax.

The tax extension will go before Linn County voters on May 3.

While the motion does not guarantee that a city's sunset request will be accepted, it does mean that if the tax extension is passed by voters, the sunset dates may not be uniform throughout Linn County.

"We're hearing that not every city in Linn County wants a 20-year sunset as being discussed by the City of Cedar Rapids," said Linn County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ben Rogers in a written statement. "The action the Board of Supervisors took today gives us the flexibility to allow municipalities to select a sunset date specific to their city and have their residents vote with that sunset date on the ballot."

There are exceptions to the motion passed by the board Monday.  Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha and Robins all vote as one block, so the sunset date would be uniform between those four cities.  Also, voters in Coggon, Prairieburg and Bertram previously voted to never sunset their local sales option tax and will not be included in the upcoming election.

The City of Cedar Rapids proposed extending the local option sales tax to help fund a flood protection system for the west side of the river after the Army Corps of Engineers determined that they would only pay for flood protection for the east side of the river.

Members of the Linn County Board of Supervisors were upset by the plan because there was no plan for protecting May's Island which could be left vulnerable if both sides of the river are protected since the island sits in the middle of the Cedar River.  The county says they will continue to work on a plan to protect the island.

Uses for the local option sales tax collected from unincorporated areas of the county will be discussed at a future meeting.

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