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Tama County Supervisors By John Speer CIP

January 9, 2020
Northern-Sun Print
“It’s got to be fixed,” 1st District Tama County Supervisor Larry Vest told state legislators of a shift in members of County Social Services which currently includes 21 central in its region. State Senator Jeff Edler (R-State Center) and State Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour) met with the supervisors Monday morning, Dec. 30, to hear county concerns before the start of the 2020 legislative session on Jan. 13. Vest said three counties are opting out of the group which funds both mental health and disability programs. The state-wide program requires counties to be contiguous and will leave Emmet County without a bordering county member. The current Tama County budget includes $911,000 in mental health spending. In thel latest spending report available on the County social Services website, it was reported total spending in the 21-county region totaled $20,856,406 in the 2016 annual report. Roadway Safety Fisher said he plans to introduce a bill in the Iowa House in the coming session to provide “rumble strip” warnings for county paved roadways intersecting with federal and state highways. He cited a recent fatal crash in Benton County on U.S. Highway 30 and a previous one at V18 and U.S. 30 in Tama County as evidence more warnings of upcoming stops for cross traffic are needed. Supervisors and Fisher said they were unsure of initial costs and maintenance of the strips but said it would likely fall to the counties. Sales Tax A hike in the Iowa sales tax from the current allowable seven percent to eight percent may be considered in the coming session the legislators said. A 3/8 of a cent portion must go toward water quality improvements because Iowa voters approved a new state natural resources fund in 201o which requires this amount for any future sales tax increases. Neither Edler or Fisher said they currently are committed to the raise and said approval by them hinges in part on a built-in reduction in taxes in another area. Back Fill In commenting on property tax back fill, Edler told the supervisors, “I have no idea where this is going.” State funds have been used to make up the lowering of primarily business property taxes. Edler said large counties which have grown do not necessarily recognize the need to lower business taxes as do rural counties where there has been seen little or no growth. In other business the supervisors: •approved weekly claims totaling $178,888. •are scheduled to meet Thursday, Jan. 2 for the annual organizational meeting.

Article Photos

State Rep. Dean Fisher and State Senator Jeff Edler (at left) meet with the Tama County Board of Supervisors on Monday, Dec. 30. Supervisors are (from upper right) 1st District Superrvisor Larry Vest , Kendall Jordan, 2nd District Supervisors and board chair and 3rd District Supervisor Dan Anderson.
CIP/John Speer



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