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LOST Debate Continues

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The amount of sales tax paid could go up if elected city and county officials in Johnson County come to an agreement about where the money will go.

The county will be asking voters to approve a new local option sales tax, or "LOST", in the general election this fall.

The indecision comes from local officials split over where the money that could or could not go towards building a new annex at the Johnson County courthouse.  The county was asking cities to donate some of their LOST revenue to the project, but that won't be happening.

Coralville, for example, generates 50 percent of the county's sales tax, but it wouldn't get much revenue from a LOST tax because of state law.

This week, the county told local cities that if they didn't contribute 10 percent of their LOST revenue to the courthouse, the county would cut the length of the tax from ten to three years, giving everyone less money.

Coralville officials rejected the plan.

County supervisors say they aren't trying to bully anyone.  They just want to pay for the courthouse project in an equitable way.  Without sales tax contributions, the county will ask for more in property taxes to pay for the annex.

The board of supervisors eventually agreed to a ten year tax with 10 percent of its revenue going to the courthouse and 90 percent going to roadwork.

Members of the Iowa City city council said Wednesday that they aren't sure how they will move forward, but they plan to discuss the issue further on August 19.
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