Just two of Iowa’s 99 counties are not charging a one-cent sales tax to raise money for local school construction and repairs, but that will change July 1st. Voters in Linn and Johnson Counties approved a one-cent local option sales tax in voting on Tuesday.
The proposal passed with over 58 percent support in Linn County — the Cedar Rapids area. It passed in Johnson County — the Iowa City area — by 67 percent. The extra one percent sales tax on purchases made in those areas will take effect July 1st. Officials estimate as much as 400 million dollars in extra sales taxes could be collected in just those two counties over the next decade.
Tuesday’s vote also sets up a possible debate in the legislature that would see all of Iowa’s counties send their local option sales taxes to the state, and the state would distribute the money for school repairs and construction on a per pupil basis.