Iowa Voters Create Outdoor Trust Fund
Voters in Iowa overwhelmingly voted to approve last Tuesday a constitutional amendment to establish the Iowa Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
The amendment passed with 62.66% of the vote, and will establish a permanent revenue flow for natural resources and outdoor recreational programs in the state. As approved, the measure requires that if the Iowa Legislature approves a sales tax increase, then 3/8ths of one cent must be used in support of the fund. Estimates report that about $150 million per year would be generated and devoted to the Fund.
"From enhancing lakes for anglers to creating bike trails for cyclists, the Iowa Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund is a worthwhile investment in outdoor opportunities for Iowans, as well as those who visit our state to enjoy our abundant natural resources," said State Senator Dick Dearden./p>
The measure was introduced in the Iowa House of Representatives in January by Rep. Paul Bell and then approved by both houses of the state legislature in February and placed on the November ballot.
According to amendment provisions, the following allocations are mandated as part of the Iowa Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund:
- Natural resources: 23 percent would be allocated to state parks, state forests, state preserves, wildlife areas and other.
- Soil conservation and water protection: 20 percent would be used for soil conservation and watershed protection
- Watershed protection: 14 percent would be used to help preserve watersheds
- Resource Enhancement and Protection Program: 13 percent of the revenue would be used for natural, cultural, and recreational resources parks, trails, museums, and roadside beautification.
- Local conservation partnership: 13 percent would be handed out to local communities for areas pertaining to outdoor and recreation
- Trails: 10 percent would go to outdoor trails for recreational use.
- Lake restoration: 7 percent would go to public lake restoration around the state.