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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 1, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Sun., Sept. 1, 197) Fairness Is Tax Revision Goal: Piersall Ity Hike Ucuprt'C Although an upcimiini: revi- sion in Ihe valuation of Cedar Kapids residences will almost certainly result in higher tax- es for most homeowners, City Assessor Dale Piersall says thai isn'l the reason for Ihe revision. The revision, he explains, is In make sure the increases are fair. Thai (here will he increases is almosl as sure as death and, well, laxes. "I'd almost bet a month's salary on it." Piersall told the city conference hoard last week. WHAT HE was almost will- ing lo bet on is that the state department of revenue will order him to increase Ihe valuation of residences tu reded the soaring prices in today's housing market. The order will be issued in and go- effect in which means any change in valuation will show up first in City Hail Notes the tax bills homeowners pay in September. 1977. The fad lhal 1975 is a year in which a valuation change may he ordered is not a surprise; Ihe slate code speci- fies that 1971 and each suc- ceeding fourth year is so des- ignated. What is a surprise, Ihnugh, is the amazing jump in hous- ing values since Ihc last full- fledged revaluation in At thai lime each residence was inspected, inside and out. and a valuation assigned. II was assumed Ihc valuation would be accurate, with minor changes, for many years. In less than Iwo il lias become obsolete. "We were righl then, al the moment, but we're not righl Piersall said. The problem, as anyone who has tried In buy a house recently well knows, is lhal inflation and a housing shor- lage in Cedar Rapids have sent prices zooming in IV lasl two years. Since Ihe slate code re- quires assessors to assign a fair market value lo each home as a basis for taxation, lhal means laxes aren't keep- ing pace with the changes in the housing market. (Taxes are paid on the basis of Ihe taxable valuation, or assessed vahiaiioii, '.vhich is 27 Mike Deupree percent of fair market value. After .Ian. 1, taxes will be paid on the full fair market value, as the legislature has eliminated the 27 percent fig- ure in order lo simplify pro- cedures. Mill rales and oilier factors will be reduced ac- cordingly so Ihe change won't aller Ihe amount of money each homeowner pays. As- sessed valuation and market value are used intcrchatiKea- lily in Ibis ins Sept. 29 "In Search of the American a college credit course that can be taken by reading lectures each Sunday in The Gazelle will begin Sepl. 29. The course will consist of 18 lectures, written by interna- tionally known scholars, and the lectures will he published nn 18 consecutive Sunday? in section A of The Gazelle. This is Ihe second such course The Gazelle has of- fered. The first. 'America and the Future of Man" was carried lasl fall and winter. A ioiJl of 41 persons enrolled in lhal course for credit from UK- University of Iowa. In the introductory lecture for this year's course, Rober! C. Ellioll lays Ihc groundwork for the focus of Ihe course: the good or bad the ulopian spirit lhal animated this country's begin- nings. Robert Penn Warren will conclude the series with [wo lectures comparing Ihe shap- ing of America's history lo our eurrenl limes. Readers can participate in (his learning experience in one of Ihree ways: I. Head Ihe articles for pleasure and Information. 2- Monitor the course for personal study by purchasing Ihe supplementary reader. 3. Take the course for col- lege credit. To do this, obtain your copy of the American Dream: Reader and American Dream: Study Guide (S2.50) (these, along with Ihe articles clipped from The will serve as your Persons interested either in enrolling or in receiving addi- tional information about the course can contact the follow- ing: Instructional Services, Kasl Hall, University of Iowa, Iowa City, la.. 52242. Those who do enroll for credit will be required to at- tend two on-campus sessions at the course's halfway point, the oilier at Ihc end. The supplementary materi- als can he ordered by mail from The New American Library. Inc.. Box Bergenfield. Those ordering should send name and address, a check or mon- ey order for materials ordered plus 25 cents per copy for han- dling and mailing costs. The Reader is and the Study Guide S2.5II. The Courses by Newspaper program was developed by University Extension, Univer- sity of California at San Diego, and funded by the National Endowment for the Humani- ties with additional support from Ihe Exxon Education foundation. The course is dis- tributed by Ihe Copley News service. Elliott, who will open Ihe series, is a professor of Eng- lish literature at the Universi- ty of California. San Diego. Wurrai, who will close it. is an author and professor emeritus of English at Vale. Other lecturers will include Dr. Winthrop Jordan, pro- fessor of history. University of California. Berkeley: Dr. Michael Kammen, professor of American history. Cornell university; Dr. William Cioeizniann, Stiles professor of American studies. University of Texas, and Dr. .lay Martin, professor of English and comparative literature. Uni- versity of California. Irvine. By Michael J. Conlon WASHINGTON (UPI) The government is about to crack down on the lion-a-year hearing aid in- dustry, a move lhat consum- ers and some segments of Ihe business world believe is long overdue. Dr. Alexander Schmidt, commissioner of Ihe Food and Drug Administration, told UPI his agency will develop regu- lations covering the manu- facture, fitting, use and label- ing of hearing aids, and perhaps will provide for some form of medical prescription. Al Ihe same lime, (he Fed- eral Trade Commission is considering a rule lhal would require hearing aid dealers to offer customers a 30-day, money-back guarantee, and possibly impose restrictions on advertising. Apiece As many as 20 million Americans suffer some degree of hearing loss. An estimalcd fiOO.OOO hearing aids, which can cnsl or more apiece, are sold every year. Senator Percy (R-lll.) who wears one, says Ihe relail price ranges as high as two and a half times more than the wholesale cost. Oiling letters from mostly elderly consumers who claimed they were victimized by fast-talking salesmen and shoddv merchandise, Percy wanls the FDA lo tighten it's standards for diagnosis and Ire-lmenl of hearing prob- lems, and to issue regulations requiring prior medical ex- amination or prescription be- fore hearing aids are dis- pensed. Typical of Ihe more (nan 250 letters Percy has handed Ihe FDA and FTC was one from a woman in Banlam, Conn., who wrote: Clever Salesman "My father was sold Iwo hearing aids by unscru- pulous bill clever salesman who even accompanied my father In Ihe bank while he drew out nearly all of his mea- ger savings. "Now my father has Iwo hearing aids, one for each ear. bill has found them of little or no help in understanding conversations. These have cost him and he has no guarantee or warranty of any kind. "I write this only lo verify your own feeling lhal 'price gouging1 does occur and lhal hearing aids often cost much loo much, for (hose who need them most are often least able lo afford them." The FDA's Schmidt said ill an interview he believed lhat all but any fringe outfit really would welcome a wise regula- tory program lhal would gel il ojit from under Ihe onus of Hiarlatanism lhat lias been laid iih the industry somewhat unfairly. Asked if he thought pulling hearing aids on a prescription- only basis was Ihe answer, Schmidt replied: Writing Latin "When you use Ihe word prescription you put yourself in a box, because most people think of an M. writing in Latin in a ritualistic, formalis- lic. legalistic meaning to tin- word "If you're asking do I think hearing aids should he pre- scribed in thai sense I'd say no. If you're asking should hearing aids in some way lie specifically ordered for specif- ic conditions, I'd say yes. And in Hie Hrnerie sense they should lie pp'Kerilied. just x; you take an antacid .for Heartburn." Schniidl said "well-trained audtomelric technicians, in.- lay sh-nild lie iirescribiiiK" rather than ddetors. who would have neither the time nor interest. Jiihn Kralick, Washington representative fur Ihe National Hearing Aid Society which represents specialists and dealers of Ihe perhaps 15.- Itllll persons involved in the agreed with ope, a .w gel lo te roots of the problem people abusing selling tech- niques will find favor." He said the FTC staff pro- posal for 30-day refunds "will hil the fly-by-nighl opera- lors." His Vacation Hardly That LONDON (U.'I) Amer- ican business man Frank Olafssori flew home lo recover from his vacation. He look a taxi lo the airport and mistakenly paid the driver double the fare. Leaving the cab he tripped over a curb, ripped his pants and gashed his knee. Discovering he had arrived al Ihe wrong terminal, Olafs- son raced to another to catch his He lost. Waiting in Ihe terminal, his duly-free bottle of whisky fell through its hag and smashed on Ihc floor. "1 don1! Ihink London is my lucky city." he said before boarding another flight. "A- part from everything else It seems to have rained since I got here." Fell Has Arrived at Peck's! We Have Over 50 Kinds of ft Dried Flowers Foliage Unusual Cones and Pods Including... Eucalyptus, Yarrow, Baby's Breath, Ckrn. Bleached Bamboo, German Statice, Lotus Pods and Wheat. FLOWERS From Large 6 Inch Size j NEW SHIPMENT of unusual Hang- ing Baskets and Containers including many new Haeger hanging pots. Make any occasion Special For Birth- days, Anniversaries. A Mew Arrival, any- time you want lo itiy something special. WE DELIVER Flower Shop Cash and Carry Colorful Cut Daisies M.49 ta PaptlK illncMW Qp lldlitUO Ofg. M Special DO Swedish ivy 2.98 OPEN SUNDAYS 9-4 5008 Center Point Road N.E. Phone 393-5S65 TIIK I'iersall is faced with is fiKiiriiiK how close his estimate has lo he for Ihe real market value of the house. "Kvcry assessor I talk In in the Iowa has the same he said. "We are ail left with Ihe impression that If yon were very far off you may as well start lo do somethinK about it. or they (the slate department of reve- nue) will come in and do it for yon. 'When you see hous- es selling for or 0110, there's just no question about it; Ihe slate is not going lo let us get by with he continued. "II's either going to be done or the slate's going to do il for us. il gels righl down to lhal. "If we do il, I think we can do a belter job." The revision of valuations Dial will he started soon Is being dnnr In make sure changes are as fair as possi- ble. No( all houses in the city have appreciated al Ihe same rate, and sonic have depre- ciated. If no revision is made, all homes would have lo be treat- ed the same when Ihe order is issued. If the stale tells Piersall In increase the total valuation in Cedar Rap- ids by 15 percent, each house would have to be increased by thai amount if there was no way lo lell how actual values have changed. "What's right in Cedar Hills may not be right for Apple- wood Piersall said. Wlial Piersall plans lo make the changes more equitable isn't a full revaluation. o INSTKAI) OF inspecting each house, inside and out, an appraisal eompjiiiy will go through records on house sales, comparing the priees actually paid for homes in the various areas of Ihe city with the assigned valuation. That will provide a basis for the changes, hill more is in- volved than merely cheeking on sale prices. "After we've pretty well es- tablished what we're going lo do. we make that final check." I'iersall said. The final check is a drive -by ill" each house lo see if the new valuation seems fair. II could he adjusted upward if, for example, a central air condi- lioniiiK unit has been added and not reported, or a KaraKO built without a building permit. It could conceivably he adjusted downward if an existing garage had burned down or shade trees hud been cut down. "Each one of these lias to he an individual decision." I'iersall said. Does the drive-by check mean a person who maintains his properly well will lie by a higher valua- !ion'.' I'iersall t says his philosophy is tn lonk beyond a new coat of paint. 'These things do affect the market value bill you can't look al thai alone, you have lo look deeper than lhal." he said. Piersall expects the review In begin late this fall and lasl al least a year. "Most of our work in con- nection with this is adminis-. he said. "1 don'l even know if we can be ready by. it's thai involved., limewise." WHAT IF the review isn't completed by .Ian. 1, wlici! Ihc expected slate order takes effect? If that happens, Piersall said, the increase demanded by (he slate will probably be applied across Ihe hoard for a year, until figures based on Ihe review can be implemented to make the changes fairer. And if the stale orders an increase that is greater (hail local studies show il should be? "If the order comes nut. there's no quibbling about il you can fight il. but you can't win." he said, mention- ing Dubuque as an example. That city increased its valuation lasl year, but was ordered by the slate to add another 10 percent in Ihc same year. I'iersall said. Is Ihere any way lo avoid the increase in valuation order? "Cnless we go into a decline of the economy, and I mean a serious decline. 1 don't see any way wo can avoid it." I'iersall said. "And nobody wauls that." Air Pollution Chart This Is ii weekly rcpin'I of (lulu siiliinillcil In The hy Ihc air pnlluliim ninlrol division nf HIP l.iiin couniy hcallh Airborne Dust A iiiciisurpiiiPiit iiii'-tiiMiliilc milder In terms mimiKrmns pci1 cubic mclcr. The iiiilimml sliindiinls. In lie enforced hy I97H; n. iivenw for a yenr (Keonielrle and maximum IM-lumr cmicciifnilioM. mil In he exceeded more limn mice a year. l.oealion NiiplridKP park Kirsl slreel SVV Jane Bnyrt Mouse slreel drive and Kirsl avenue SK Dale llcud .AUK. 21 21 L'SH .Aim. 21 2711 .AUK. 21 The particles al park were nf Ihc follnwinR size in microns: percent, 7 nr more; 2ri.7 percent, II..'I lo 7, 15.4 pereenl, 2.1 In 3..1; 17.fi percent. 1.1 In 2.2. and 117.5 pereenl less lhari 1.1. Smaller particles are said lo In1 more likely lo yd deeper into Ihe Itmys and he more cause for concern about heallh. Sulphur Dioxide The national standard I'm terms of parts per average for a year (arithmetic mean) and 11.14 maximum 24- hour concentration, not to he exceeded more than once a year. Daily averages al 445 First street SW were: AUK. 23, AUK- 24, Aug. 11.025; AUK. 27.0, 0.018; AUR. 28. 0.012; AUK. 211, Week average. 0.020. Daily averages at Twenty-eighth street drive were: Aug. 23, 0.005; Aug. 24, II.008; Aug. 25, 0.003; AUK. 26. 0.022: Aug. 27, 0.013; Aug. 28, 0.007; Aug. 21 0.005. Week average, Coefficient of Haze Another measurement of parliculale mailer. A reading nf 0.53 iv In he equivalent of 75 microKrams per cubic meter, a national standard for airborne dust as outlined above. Readings at 445 First street SW were: Aug. 23, 11.07: Aug. 24, 0.04; Aug. 25, Aug. 20, 0.05; Aug. 27, Week average, 0.07. Readings al Twenty-eighth slreel drive were: Aug. 23, 0.10: Aug. 24. O.lli: Aug. 25. 0.17: Am- 2B. ?7 022: Aug. 28, (1.15; Aug. 29, (1.26. Week average. 0.20. 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