PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — The Mayor of Pleasant Hill is still feeling the affects of Tuesday’s Local Option Sales and Services Tax passing. “It was very joyful. We were very thrilled,” said Mayor Sara Kurovski.
The 73% of Pleasant Hill voters who favored it this time was a polar opposite of the 65% who voted it down in March of last year when the city voted alongside several other cities. Mayor Kurovski said, “They were able to know this is just for our city for this project and no extra noise about being next to Des Moines and voting with Des Moines.” Also helping Pleasant Hill flip the coin, a group of over fifty volunteers called Good Government for Pleasant Hill led by Sherm Ploeger. “We act as a watch dog for for what goes on at city hall,” Ploeger said.
The group backed the measure and literally hit the streets in support. “They have been knocking doors in the last month in this frigid cold weather,” said Kurovski.
Ploeger said once face to face with voters the talk was simple. Eighty-five percent of the revenue going to property tax relief, fifteen percent to public safety and city-wide projects. “We had the choice between either raising property taxes or increasing the sales tax one cent and it was an easy sell.”
The yes vote will the city to break ground on a new police department in August. The fire station will expand into what is now the police station freeing up more space. Kurovski said, “Our need was real and the city was rapidly growing and we needed to continue to meet those public safety needs.”
A need that will be met thanks to a community that believed in the power of the penny. Ploeger said, “We’ve got a lot of people that really care about our community and they are willing to invest in it if they understand what the issues are and how they can be a part of it.”
The tax goes into effect July 1, 2019.