If you are unsure about who to vote for in the upcoming Iowa City Council race, please consider waiting until you can see who is supporting and funding each candidates’ election campaign. While early voting may be convenient, your vote counts and even known candidates deserve close scrutiny and due diligence. Many candidates will file disclosure forms showing financial activity by donors with the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board (IECDB) at this link. City council candidate reports are due October 29th; however, some candidates’ reports are starting to trickle in early.
Frankly, this is a local council race where there has been a lot of very general information provided about candidates; however, there is very little specific information about candidates’ positions on the following:
Affordable housing: How would each candidate define it and what households would be subsidized? For example, would the candidate subsidize a young educated individual with the ability to grow his or her income or a retiree on a fixed income? And what would the income cut off be to qualify for affordable housing? For example, would the candidate support subsidizing a household whose income is 30% or less of the area median income or up to 120% of the area median income?
Tax increment financing (TIF): Is the candidate interested in supporting TIF projects that will generate jobs or projects primarily devoted to housing?
Transparency: For example, will the candidate make the TIF decision making process transparent or will TIF projects be run through one or more third parties that are not subject to Iowa’s open records laws?
Iowa property tax reform: What specific long term financial measures does the candidate support to address the projected decreasing revenues caused by property tax reform in Iowa? That is, how (with specificity) does the candidate intend to pay for his or her platform?
While the above includes unanswered questions, a list of a candidate’s donors does provide specific information about each candidate’s base of support and is worth checking out.
The election date of November 3rd is quickly approaching. Here is a link to the Johnson County Auditor’s Office for polling places and sample ballots. If donor information for the candidates is of interest to you, please remember to check here on or after October 29th and prior to voting for up-to-date information.