A group consisting of mayors and prominent business leaders is calling for an increase in the state sales tax. The extra money would go into a fund to support water quality and recreation projects.
The Iowa Water and Land Legacy Coalition is asking the Legislature to up the state sales tax by three-eighths of a cent.
The extra cash would go into the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
Iowa voters overwhelmingly approved creation of the fund in 2010.
But the mayor of Storm Lake Jon Kruse says no state money has ever gone into it.
“Nobody likes tax increases," he says. "But in this case the tax increase goes to fund the voter approved, constitutionally protected Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.”
Cedar Rapids Mayor and former Speaker of the Iowa House Ron Corbett says lawmakers need to show support for clean water.
“More and more people are coming to the realization that Iowa needs to take charge and improve the quality of our waterways and aquifers,” he says.
The growing coalition includes the mayors of Iowa’s two largest cities plus smaller towns such as Charles City and Fairfield. It also contains such business leaders as Richard Stanley and John Ruan III.