Continuous Improvement on Quality of Life - Local Option Sales Tax Renewal

Jun 30, 2021

Last month the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance hosted Linn County supervisors and area mayors as they announced their support for the extension of the Local Option Sales Tax through 2034.

Voters will decide on Election Day – November 2, 2021 – if they agree to extend the 1 cent tax for another ten years.

A simple majority of voters in Cedar Rapids, Fairfax, Hiawatha, Marion and Robins is required to pass the extension. Voters in the unincorporated parts of Linn County will also see the extension on their ballots. Each jurisdiction will determine how their extra 1 cent sales tax will be spent. Previous funds have been used to improve roads and quality of life initiatives throughout the metropolitan area.

The Economic Alliance has long supported high-quality and reliable infrastructure systems, including safe roads. Long-term and reliable funding is essential for our infrastructure investments and vital to community growth and competitiveness. That’s why the Economic Alliance Policy Board recently voted to support for this year’s tax extension vote.

Communities that focus on improving their infrastructure succeed when it comes to economic development and jobs. We estimate that more than 100 businesses, either directly or indirectly, provide the work and services needed to update the infrastructure, pumping close to $30 million into our county-wide economy. Additionally, much of the work is completed by local companies using local labor.

It’s also a fairer tax to pay for community improvements. By using sales tax funds, rather than placing the tax burden solely on property owners, we can rely on a tax that spreads the cost more evenly, including on those residents who live outside of Linn County and use our roads to travel to centers of commerce throughout the county. Local Option Sales Tax also builds and strengthens rural and urban shared interests by creating a funding stream formula that fairly distributes funds throughout all the jurisdictions that have approved the optional tax.

The Economic Alliance will continue to update members and the community on the benefits of renewing this vital economic and community funding stream.

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