The new mayor of Cedar Rapids says he plans to ask the Iowa Department of Economic Development for a waiver that would save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. When the state or federal government allocates money to a community, there’s often a local match requirement – sometimes 5 or 10% of the total cost of a project.
Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett says the flood of 2008 caused tax revenue to drop, so the city doesn’t have a lot of flexibility to spend money. “We’re going to ask the state for the next 36 months at least, waive some of the local match because of our declining property tax base,” Corbett said. Since the floods, Corbett says the city’s assessed property value has declined by about $100 million.
“All the programs at the state level, for good reasons, are designed for a partnership between the state and the local. But right now with our budget situation, we don’t have as much flexibility as we used to come up with that match,” Corbett said. He says the waiver would allow the city to invest more money in homes and businesses affected by the disaster.