By Craig Robinson
The 40th President of the United States has weighed in on a ballot initiative in Linn County that if approved would allow for a casino to be built in the state’s second largest county.
A recent mail piece asked voters how they would rather pay for flood protection. Option “A” was through an increase in local taxes, option “B” was for the proposed casino. The reverse side features a picture of Reagan and the words, “If you answered A, former President Reagan would be disappointed in you.”
The question is a little misleading since Linn County voters have already passed a tax increase to help pay for flood protection in March of 2009. It was estimated that the local option sales tax would generate Cedar Rapids between $18 and $23 million per year, 80 percent of those funds are specifically for flood protection and acquisition of property in the flood zone. The site for the proposed casino is in that same flood zone.
Voters will go to the polls to vote on the gambling referendum on March 5th. If approved the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission would still need to grant the group a gaming license.
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