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LOST in Iowa: Fighting for Better Sales Tax Laws


Cedar Rapids, Iowa is in a flood plain. According to a petition recently circulated to reject a Local Option Sales Tax (LOST), “…studies by the Army Corps have included flood warnings and recommendations of ‘flood damage reduction alternatives,’” which have not been acted on. Though flood protection is claimed as a priority to the city council, county citizens were encouraged to consider that nothing has been done to manage “…the deficiencies of the watershed management system,” or to put flood walls and levees into place.

Why is this important? This is the reason that local citizens fought against passing another Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) until the “…lack of specific language in the ballot in what [the]money would be spent on,” is fixed.  Eric Rosenthal, the group’s chair, says “We’re not an anti-tax group. We just want to make sure there is proper accountability for what’s a flood project.”

The measure was defeated, however, the group is presenting another proposal that gives more specific language on how the money would be spent toward flood projects.  They hope “…to gain enough signatures to call for a summer vote on their proposal.”

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”