The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 20, 2012

Extension on tax used for equipment at IHCC on the ballot

Extension applies to all property owners in IHCC’s 10-county region

OTTUMWA — An upcoming special election will give voters the chance to continue a tax that allows for equipment replacement at Indian Hills Community College.

Voters will decide whether to continue a tax “not exceeding 6 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value in any one year and for a period not to exceed 10 years, for the purpose of program sharing between community colleges or for the purchase of instructional equipment.”

According to Iowa Code, normally the IHCC board of trustees can levy a tax on taxable property in the merged area no more than 3 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation for equipment replacement for the community college.

But they can levy a tax higher than 3 cents per thousand dollars if the excess tax levied doesn’t cause the total rate to exceed 9 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation, and if the excess revenue is used for program sharing between community colleges or for the purchase of instructional equipment.

“It’s been on for about 20 years,” said IHCC President Jim Lindenmayer. “It’s a continuation of a tax. The levy is specifically for instruction equipment.”

While revenue generated from the tax is allowed to be used for program sharing between colleges, Lindenmayer said Indian Hills uses it solely for instructional equipment.

“It might be robots, welders, it could be projectors, any type of equipment that’s used in instruction,” Lindenmayer said.

The tax applies to all property owners in the 10-county region covered by the college.

“It raises about $380,000 a year,” Lindenmayer said. “So it would be about $6 on a $100,000 house.”

The special election for “Public Measure J” will take place on Dec. 4.

Special election voting information

Poll hours are noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 4 and will take place at:

• Agency Community Center, 102 W. Main St., Agency

• Eddyville Public Library, 202 Second St., Eddyville

• Wapello County Courthouse, 101 W. Fourth St., Ottumwa

To vote in the IHCC special election, one must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and an eligible elector in Wapello County and/or in the Cardinal, Ottumwa and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont school districts.

Postcard registration forms can be hand-delivered to the county auditor where the voter resides by 5 p.m. Monday.

To register on Election Day, you must show a photo ID that has not expired and contains your name and picture and proof of residence in the precinct in which you live.

Absentee votes may be cast at the Wapello County Auditor’s Office through Monday, Dec. 3. If you wish to have the ballot mailed, you have until 5 p.m. Nov. 30 to have the written request to the auditor’s office. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by midnight Dec. 3 or hand-delivered to the auditor’s office before polls close on Election Day.

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