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Sales and Services Tax Battle

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) On Tuesday, Linn County Residents will head to the polls in part to vote on an extension of the local option sales tax. The City of Cedar Rapids has decided to use that tax strictly for road work and repair, but not everyone agrees with the measures.

Theres at least one thing that Lisa Kuzela and Carol Martin of Know The Facts CR agree with the City on: Cedar Rapids needs to repair some of its roads. Thats where the similarities end.

"We support fixing roads, but history proves to us that we can't trust our City Council and our City Staff to spend the money the way that they say they will, said Kuzela.

"I don't believe it's going to be used for roads, said Martin

Their group takes issue with the language that will appear on the ballot this week. They think its too vague and might allow for the city to use the revenue for other projects only loosely tied to roadwork. The July 23rd City Council Minutes say the tax will be used to fund street maintenance, repair, construction and reconstruction work in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett says thats pretty straight forward.

"The ballot language that people will go in and read on Tuesday says 100% for streets...for construction and repair of streets, said Mayor Corbett.

He says that money is coupled with revenue from the states fuel tax, which is designated for roadwork by the state constitution, guarantees that those funds cant be diverted elsewhere. One example of why he says they shouldnt be is Memorial Drive on the Southeast side.

"It needs total reconstruction, there's only so much patching you can do, said Mayor Corbett.

Mayor Corbett says the revenue from the local option sales tax allows the city to move away from patchwork solutions and instead replace an entire street.
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