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City Leaders Discuss Sales Tax Renewal

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Where city officials along with a D.C based national transportation organization, presented information about the condition of our streets.

It's all part of getting voters to approve the renewal of the one-cent local option sales tax to help with street repairs and reconstruction.

The group says nearly half of major roads in Cedar Rapids are in poor condition and 25 percent are in mediocre condition.

That's why city leaders say now is the time to act, but not everyone is on board.

Driving through various streets in Cedar Rapids can be a hassle.

"Obviously the roads are all...yeah...bad, said Cedar Rapids resident Angela Beltz.

Cracked streets, old patch work and more, which all spell bad news for cars.

"Our tires always, I don't know. Seem to get bad faster here, she said.

It's why city leaders want residents to vote for the renewal of the one-cent local option sales tax.

City officials say the tax should be renewed for 10 years and that 100 percent of the money will be dedicated to road repairs.

"It's not a new tax, it's just a continuation of what we have, said Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett.

Trip, a D.C based transportation research organization says driving on rough roads costs the average cedar rapids driver almost $700 each year on car repairs.

They say the average cost in other states is about $300.

"As we've seen the cost of not repairing Cedar Rapids roads can be even greater, Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, Trip Associate Director of Research and Communications.

Some like Angela Beltz say she's going to vote no because she doesn't believe the money from renewing the tax will actually be used to repair the roadways.

"We've been promised things before. Like I said we went through the floods we were promised things never happened, said Beltz.

While others do feel that way as well, there is a city ordinance and it's written into the ballot that requires the city to use the money for exactly that: road repairs.
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