POLK COUNTY, Iowa – Six cities in Polk County are voting in a special election on an increase to the local option sales and services tax Tuesday.
If passed, the local option sales and services tax increases by one-cent, from six-cents to seven-cents for every retail dollar spent.
Residents of Polk County in West Des Moines are among those voting.
West Des Moines City Manager Tom Hadden estimates that the city will see $7 million in revenue within the first year if the sales tax increase is approved.
“Our tax rate right now is $11.79. It would go to $11.02 per thousand for the city’s tax rate, so that will be reduced,” Hadden said.
If passed, half the money will go towards a city property tax reduction. The other half will help fund public parks, public safety, sports and recreational facilities, public libraries and more.
Hadden said the city would hire seven new police officers and additional five firefighters.
“Because of the demand on the city doubling in population in the day, there is more need for public safety. It would be nice to get, like I said, a jump start to get that where we need to be,” Hadden said.
During the day West Des Moines’ population doubles in size due to businesses and retail.
Hadden said West Des Moines residents in Dallas County approved the tax increase back in 2017.
Other cities voting to increase the local option sales and services tax include: Des Moines, Altoona, Alleman, Pleasant Hill and Windsor Heights.
Each city has different wording on its ballot, on where it chooses to allocate its money if the tax is passed.
Pleasant Hill plans to allocate 85 percent of the money for property tax relief. The other 15 percent would go towards property tax stabilization, public safety, community facilities and more.
Pleasant Hill City Communication Specialist Candance Bell said the estimated annual revenue from the tax would be $1.4 million.
This is the first election where a voter identification is now required before casting a ballot.
Valid voter identifications include: Iowa driver’s license, low non-operator’s identification, military identification, U.S. passport, tribal identification, veteran’s identification and a voter identification card.
The polls open at 7:00 a.m. To find your polling location, click here.