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Refresher on reservoir project

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:45 a.m. CST

By Jeff Kaufmann

Former Speaker Pro Tem, Iowa House of Representatives Current Cedar County Board of Supervisors

In reading the Clarke County Friends of Water flyer in your newspaper, I was struck with the false choice they presented to the Clarke County taxpayer.

On one hand, they say if you vote to repeal the local option sales tax that it will automatically result in a property tax increase. I think these folks need a refresher on how the property-tax system works. For county taxes to increase, the county board of supervisors will have a say first. Property taxes don’t just increase on auto pilot, and for the Clarke County Friends of Water to suggest that is disingenuous, to say the least.

Property taxes can increase two ways, either through increased valuations or an increase in the millage rate. The Clarke County Board of Supervisors will have a say in the latter.

The voters of Clarke County deserve the facts and the truth. Using scare tactics or presenting false choices is not what the taxpayers of Clarke County deserve. The voters of Clarke County deserve to know that if they choose to vote NOT to extend the local-option sales tax it DOESN’T mean that property taxes will increase automatically.

The reservoir project should rise and fall on the truth and merits of the project and the voters of Clarke County deserve to be spoken to in an honest and straightforward manner and not presented with false choices.

In my eight years in state politics and four years in local politics, the Clarke County Friends of Water definitely rank first in my hundreds of contacts with state and local boards in deliberate misrepresentation of facts and selfish spin of detail in a wide variety of areas. To give this group more money to spend would be like giving a poorly performing doctor more patient referrals.

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