Iowa flood buyouts could cost millions extra

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — More than 100 victims of the 2008 Iowa floods could receive buyouts well above their property’s assessed value before the disaster struck.

An investigation by the Des Moines Register shows (http://dmreg.co/13RKdDl ) that some of the buyouts are more than $1 million above their pre-flood assessments.

Property owners in Cedar Rapids received the higher payouts after appealing the city’s appraised values and paying for their own private assessment with a licensed appraiser.

Despite sometimes wide disparities in appraised values, the newspaper found that those private assessments were generally accepted by city and state officials without question or without an independent review.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett defended the city’s actions, saying city staff relied on the work of a contracted company, ProSource Technologies, to present them with finalized buyout offers.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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