The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Grass-roots group that engineered local-option sales tax triumph donates $24,183 in excess campaign funds to Habitat for Humanity

In Floods, local-option sales tax on June 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Vote Yes for Our Neighbors, the Cedar Rapids grass-roots effort that successfully campaigned to secure passage in early March of a 1-percent local-option sales, has donated its leftover campaign funds — $24,183 — to Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity.

In less than a month, the Vote Yes campaign raised $85,343.46 from what Gary Ficken and Dale Todd, campaign co-chairmen, said Tuesday was a diverse group of donors.

It did not use $24,183 of the funds raised for the campaign.

Ficken said Vote Yes for Our Neighbors and those who donated to it acted with “housing, housing, housing in mind” for flood victims. It only made sense, then, he said, to use what was left of the campaign dollars on housing for flood victims. Habitat has agreed to use the money in that way, he said.

Ficken said the mix of donors supporting the five-year, local-option sales tax for flood-victim housing was tghe most diverse group of donors he’s ever seen in a campaign for anything. He said the support made the campaign “entertaining,” and he added the fact that the campaign lasted just three-and-half weeks didn’t hurt either.

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