|Linn County’s Proposed Local Option Sales Tax Ballot Language
On March 6, 2012, voters in Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Fairfax, Marion, Robins, the part of Walford located in Linn County and unincorporated areas of Linn County will vote on whether or not to extend the current Local Option Sales & Services Tax (LOSST) penny for 10 more years. The current LOSST will sunset June 30, 2014, and the new measure, if approved by voters, would extend it an additional 10 years to June 30, 2024.
The Linn County Board of Supervisors approved ballot language for the March 6 vote for rural unincorporated residents (these are residents who live outside any city or incorporated area in Linn County). The current LOSST tax brings in approximately $5 million in revenue from the rural unincorporated area of Linn County.
The Board of Supervisors had positive and productive conversations on how an extended local option sales tax should be used in unincorporated Linn County, resulting in the following percentages that will appear on the ballot for rural unincorporated voters on March 6:
- Fifty percent (50%) for the Linn County Secondary Roads system, including but not limited to construction, maintenance and operation of Linn County secondary roads, farm to market roads and bridges.
- Twenty five percent (25%) for property tax relief exclusively on property located in the rural unincorporated areas of Linn County.
- Twenty five percent (25%) for Linn County Conservation projects and programs, including but not limited to those administered by the Linn County Conservation Board.
- Zero percent (0%) for City of Cedar Rapids flood protection.
The proposed 10-year extension, if approved by voters, would bring in approximately $5 million in revenue annually. Using the percentages above:
- $2.5 million would go towards Secondary Roads
- $1,250,000 would go towards Conservation
- $1,250,000 would go towards property tax relief exclusively on property located in the rural unincorporated areas of Linn County.
If the extension is not passed in the unincorporated area but is passed in the metro area, rural residents will pay the penny tax extension while shopping in the metro area but will not receive revenue from the tax for the uses described above.
Other jurisdictions in Linn County (including Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Fairfax, Marion, Robins and the part of Walford located in Linn County) whose residents will vote on the local option sales tax extension have initiatives that are different and separate from Linn County’s unincorporated area.