The Hot Beat


The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him:

Sales Tax Question #5: Why does Des Moines need to be involved?

Q. Why does Des Moines get the money if it’s a local-option sales tax? Why can’t the money just come straight to Cedar Rapids and Linn County? – Ken Lampe, Cedar Rapids

A. Companies that sell things collect the tax from people when they buy things, and then send the money to the Iowa Department of Revenue. The Department of Revenue then distributes the money to the cities and counties that have the tax in place.

This way is more efficient than asking the retailers to distribute the tax to the hundreds of individual local governments in Iowa that have the tax in place, because the state already has the collection and distribution system in place, said Terry O’Neil, a taxpayer services specialist at the Department of Revenue.

“It’s just the most practical, because we’re already set up to do it,” he said.

I am trying to respond to reader questions about the sales tax this week. Please e-mail or call with your questions, at or (319) 398-8273.

Filed under: Cedar Rapids City Council, County Government, Flood, , ,

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