Does popularity of DNR plates equal support for water quality?

If I had only analyzed the Linn County Treasurer’s monthly Auto Reports before the November 2016 election, I might have predicted that the vote on the Conservation Bond would pass with overwhelming support. Woulda; shoulda; coulda. Instead, I owe someone with the initials RS a lunch – which he must have forgotten about.

The Treasurer’s Auto Reports indicate that the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) plates and renewals were the most popular plates in the month of May. The same holds true for the last six months of reports. Surprisingly, the DNR plates generate more revenue than the University of Iowa plates or personalized license plates.

If Linn County’s residents are willing to support conservation and water quality to the extent they will tax themselves to pay for forty million dollars in bonds to support it, then surely the remainder of the State is interested in the doing the same. Right? Evidently not. The last seven legislative sessions failed to increase the State sales tax by as little as one-eighth-of-a-cent to begin funding the Iowa Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.

Think of how many times per day you turn on the faucet. What’s it worth to you to have water? And to have water clean enough for you to drink. Visit a third world country like I have over the last thirty plus years and you will have more of an appreciation for our plentiful, clean, clear drinking water. – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor and former dairy farmer


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