Now I am not a big new taxes kind of guy, but opponents of the Johnson County Bond Initiative that is on the November 4th ballot to create a land trust for conservation fail to understand that this is one of the cheapest bonds we will ever pass. Heck, its paid for in no more than the next 20 years. At no more than $20 million, it's two million dollars a year or $2.20 per month to the average property owner. I'll gladly forego a couple cups of coffee a month for land that will serve as a buffer between the Iowa River and me, provide recreation opportunities, and will give wildlife a chance.
This local investment will be leveraged with grants, donations, and federal, state and private money for a likely multiplying effect of 2.5 to 3 times, for a total investment of $50 to $60 million for our land, water and recreation areas.
Another other thing is the land that is put into conservation is sold voluntarily, no eminent domain issue here.
Finally, and best of all, the land conservation will be managed by the Johnson County Conservation Board that is open and transparent. The plan will be flexible, comprehensively developed with citizen input, and will be subject to annual audits.
But like all issues involving differing opinions, there are two sides.
The "FLIP No" side says we have enough land in conservation, that the bond does not spell out what land will be bought with the money and has no time limit for expiration.
Here's one side of the story
and here's the other