IOWA — This weekend is the last chance to pay a six-cent sales tax in six central Iowa cities. On Monday a new sales tax approved by voters takes effect.
Earlier this year, voters in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Altoona, Pleasant Hill, Windsor Heights and Alleman all approved a one-cent sales tax increase.
The City of Des Moines has already started spending some of its expected new revenue, hiring firefighters and cutting property tax rates. The city expects to bring in $37 million more per year from the tax.
Thirty percent of that is expected to come from people living outside the metro. The money will be used for a list of items on the city’s to do list, including expediting an ongoing storm sewer project and cleaning up blighted property.
City manager Scott Sanders says voters recognized this is the right way to fix up the city.
“We didn’t have resources to really spend on our neighborhoods. In order to spend more in the past, it meant raising property taxes and that was never a good option. And so what the voters recognized with our messaging is that with the sales tax, we could lift up the neighborhoods and therefore put less burden on future property taxes,” said Sanders.