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

Sales Tax Question #6

Q. Is local-option sales tax revenue only for flood victims? Are the funds to be kept in a separate account? Who will have oversight of this account and decide if the funds requested are flood related or not? – Edwin Kortenkamp, Marion

A. This is a three-part question, so I’ll answer in three parts.

Is local-option sales tax revenue only for flood victims? 90 percent of the money the city receives from the tax will pay for flood recovery, and the city council says that means buyouts, paying the local share for federally-funded buyouts, helping people rebuild their homes and helping flood victims who lost their homes rebuild new ones. The other 10 percent will be used for property tax relief. (Linn County’s revenue will be spent differently.)

Are the funds to be kept in a separate account? Yes, but the money will be distributed into city funds for buyouts and housing assistance. In order to keep buyouts and home repair help consistent from resident to resident, city staff must mix and match awards of federal, state and local dollars, all of which come with different rules and requirements.

Who will have oversight of this account and decide if the funds requested are flood related or not? The council voted Feb. 11 to create a nine-member Citizen Oversight Committee to monitor how revenue from the tax will be spent should voters approve the tax March 3. Mayor Kay Halloran, with the advice and consent of her council colleagues, will appoint the nine committee members. Members must be residents of the city and should represent diverse groups of people, according to the measure passed by the council.

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

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

One Response

  1. Adam – Certainly like to read your info on taxes and all the
    other things that you cover with your news articles.
    Luella Van Englehoven

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