Legislators have tabled a bill that would have helped Iowa communities prepare for future flooding because of the outcome of voting Tuesday in Cedar Rapids.

Officials in Cedar Rapids had been lobbying for legislation that would have triggered a new way for the state to provide money for flood-recovery projects. But on Tuesday, Cedar Rapids voters turned down a local option sales tax that would have helped pay for flood-prevention projects.

Representative Tyler Olson, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says that local option sales tax money was to have been the source of matching-funds to help Cedar Rapids qualify for flood assistance.

“The community that was most visibility behind the proposal has some evaluating to do of its options,” Olson says. “And the legislature wants to evaluate its options as well.” 

Other legislators complained the bill was geared to help Iowa’s big cities and would provide little assistance to small communities that have been devastated by recent flooding.  The bill was designed to let flooded Iowa cities keep increased state sales tax collections in their communities to finance flood recovery projects.