DES MOINES – The new Local Options Sales and Service Tax will take effect Monday, July 1. The new tax was approved by 70 percent of voters back in March and will generate roughly $37 million a year for property tax relief, infrastructure upgrades, public safety enhancements and neighborhood improvements.
“With the approval of Local Option, Des Moines voters demonstrated overwhelming support for our city and its neighborhoods,” says City Manager Scott Sanders. “They also delivered a clear mandate to all of us who serve this City and its residents, and we look forward to delivering on our promise to use these funds responsibly and in a transparent manner.”
By state law, 50 percent of the revenue must go toward property tax relief. After the city received approval by voters in March, Des Moines City Council lowered the city’s property tax levy rate to the lowest it’s been in the last seven years.
City Council allocated the remaining 50 percent of anticipated Local Option revenue to go towards street and storm sewer upgrades, neighborhood improvements including removal of blighted houses and expanded library hours and public safety enhancements including funding for 13 firefighter positions and mobile mental health crises services for youth.
The tax will not apply to things such as groceries, gas or prescription drugs, as determined by the Iowa Department of Revenue.
After each fiscal year, the city manager will conduct an audit and publish the report outlining how the Local Option money has been invested throughout the city. For more information on the Local Option Sales and Services tax, click here.