We have voted twice on a local-option sales-tax extension for flood purposes. Suddenly, the sales tax is repurposed and proposed to be extended for street repair and construction. We definitely need street repairs, but how did our streets get in such disrepair in the first place?
Ten percent of the local-option sales tax that we are paying was to have been for property tax relief. Many home values have gone down, but property taxes have not been adjusted accordingly. The proposed extension of the sales tax makes a person skeptical about the accountability of revenue.
State sales tax on utility bills was gradually eliminated. Then, Cedar Rapids imposed a 1 percent franchise fee on utility bills. As of July, Cedar Rapids increased its franchise fee to 2 percent. What is being done with this money?
If the casino is built, what will that revenue be used for?
Cedar Rapids is handing out TIFs and other tax incentives to new or expanding businesses like candy at Halloween — almost $72 million since Sept. 28, 2010. With enough TIFs, Cedar Rapids could possibly have enticed a Macy’s and/or Dillards to Westdale.
Many people are for cutting taxes for federal agencies that provide truly essential services, but in Cedar Rapids we can’t get enough of those good ol’ taxes. Priorities seem to escape logic.
David D. Hall Jr.
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