The Hot Beat


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Sales Tax Question #7: What about that school tax?

Q. Do we already have a penny added to our sales tax here in Cedar Rapids? We thought that one was added to help the Cedar Rapids Schools? How long was that supposed to run and when will it drop off? – Greg and JoAnn Snyder, Cedar Rapids

A. The school local-option sales tax, which raised the sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent, was passed in Linn County in February 2007. The money from the tax was meant for school infrastructure projects.

The tax was supposed to last for 10 years. Linn and Johnson Counties were the last two counties in Iowa to adopt the tax.

But in the 2008 legislative session, state lawmakers saw that every county in Iowa now had the tax, and made the 1-percent local option sales tax into something that was no longer local, and no longer an option. It became a permanent statewide tax, permanently making the sales tax 6 percent.

If voters approve the city’s/county’s local-option sales tax March 3, the sales tax will be 7 percent.

At The Gazette’s Monday forum on the sales tax, former state representative Art Staed pointed out no Linn County legislators supported the measure. But it did pass, and it gave some voters the idea that the 10-year local-option sales tax they approved in February 2007 was made permanent behind their backs.

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

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