Supporters and opposition to local option sales tax get ready - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Supporters and opposition to local option sales tax get ready


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - March 3rd is fast approaching, and Linn County voters will have a decision to make. It's whether they'll vote yes or no to a one cent local option sales tax increase. It would generate about $29 million a year for the next five years.

Members of the "Vote Yes" For Our Neighbors campaign say a local option sales tax will be the quickest way to rush additional flood relief to those who need it most in Cedar Rapids.

However, those who oppose the measure say it will only create a larger burden for taxpayers.

"We need it very badly in this area. We need more money," said Doug Ward, home and business owner in Time-Check. He'll vote in favor of the tax.

But Tim Pugh will not. "If it passes in Cedar Rapids, in most communities, we will still have to collect the tax."

Pugh heads up a group called the Cedar Rapids Tea Party, which is against the tax increase.

He and some other voters say there needs to be more help coming from state and federal levels of government, and that Cedar Rapidians have already paid their dues.

"Citizens have already paid taxes, and taxes, and taxes," said one man at a tour of Ward's home on Monday.

"The city could create more money by looking at themselves, looking at their budget, looking at their spending habits, and trim that down," said Pugh.

But Dale Todd, a former member of the city council and co-chair of the "Vote Yes" group, says there wasn't a lot to cut in the first place. "The reality is, these houses are crumbling, and these neighborhoods are falling apart as we speak, and something needs to be done."

Both groups are gearing up for a final push to advertise their causes.

"Vote Yes" and the Tea Party both have their own websites, the former with pages on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Pugh plans a flyer campaign in the days ahead.

Tesults of the sales tax vote will be known sometime the evening of March 3rd, and the actual tax would take effect April 1st.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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