MASON CITY – Voters can now head to the polls in Mason City to cast a ballot for or against a proposed new tax.
Cerro Gordo county auditor Ken Kline confirms that voting opened up Friday, January 27th for the proposed Capitol Improvement Levy to raise money for city hall to buy items needed to run the city – as city hall officials claim.
If approved, the city council could levy up to 67 cents per $1,000 of valuation upon property owners in town.
March 7 is the actual election day.
On Monday – after the polls had already opened – city hall sent out more information on the proposed levy. You can read that material below the sample ballot.
Those approving of the new tax say the city needs funds to run its operations and not spend needlessly on bonds, which cost interest and fees, many times totaling thousands of dollars. The city’s award-winning finance department is strongly in favor of this levy proposal.
Those opposed to the new tax say the money won’t be spent wisely by city hall and point to untrustworthy elected officials who admit they have a “trust issue” with the very public they serve. These folks worry the levy dollars could be a “slush fund” to cover unanticipated costs with a possible multi-purpose ice arena. They also point to the fact that Mayor Eric Bookmeyer and others approved a $1 million dollar plan to send an assessor throughout the city to possibly raise the assessed value of properties. The $1 million was levied against property owners to cover the cost of that project.