The Linn County Board of Supervisors has approved resolutions that will allow Linn County voters in unincorporated Linn County as well as the cities of Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Fairfax, Marion, Robins, and the portion of Walford located in Linn County to vote Nov. 2, 2021, on whether to extend the current one percent (1%) local option sales and services tax when it expires in 2024. If passed, the extension will begin July 1, 2024 and will end June 30, 2034.
Each jurisdiction presents specific uses for the revenue generated by a local option sales tax. Those specific uses will be placed on the Nov. 2, 2021 ballot. However, because the metro cities are contiguous to each other, they are considered one incorporated area for this ballot measure and a simple majority is required for the measure to pass. Voters in unincorporated Linn County will decide independently of the five cities.
Revenue use from the one percent local option sales tax in the unincorporated areas of Linn County would remain unchanged from the current allocation and would be used as follows:
- 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, Iowa.
- Twenty-five percent (25%) for Linn County conservation projects and programs, including but not limited to those administered by the Linn County Conservation Board.
Since 2010, the Linn County Secondary Road Department has received more than $36 million in local option sales tax revenue. These funds have accelerated Linn County’s 5-year construction program by paving 106 miles of roads (30% of the paved system), three bridge projects, and three culvert replacement projects. The majority (94 miles) of the paving projects were concrete overlays.
Linn County Conservation has used local option sales tax revenue to leverage completion of $28 million in projects, including the Mary Lundby Bridge in Pinicon Ridge Park that connects the campground to the day use park over the Wapsipinicon River; modernizing restrooms and playgrounds at Pinicon Ridge Park; trail development on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail (the Hoover section south of Cedar Rapids as well as reconstruction and paving phases north of Cedar Rapids); and the Highway 100 trail connection through Morgan Creek Park.