Letter to the Editor: Support for Local Option Sales Tax

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

On November 7, 2017, Dallas County residents will have the opportunity to vote on a county-wide referendum for a one-cent local option sales tax. If passed, the tax would be collected (in the cities that approve it) on a county-wide basis and distributed to communities (again, only those cities that approve it) through a formula based on population and prior taxable valuations.

The one-cent local option sales tax is collected on the purchase of goods and services sold in communities that have approved its passage. We all pay the tax when we buy a taxable item within a community that has passed the one-cent local option sales tax or purchase a taxable item that is delivered or mailed to our address.

Tourists, visitors, and those who spend money in communities that have passed the one-cent local option sales tax would provide a substantial amount of revenue under this tax. The local option sales tax would allow communities to stabilize their debt service levy, provide property tax relief to residents, as well as to finance Capital Projects, Capital Purchases, Grant Matching Funds, and Building Maintenance.

The City of Perry has used L.O.S.T. funds to purchase fire trucks, police vehicles, snow plows and other vehicles for maintenance; to use as matching dollars for grant applications for the library’s children’s area remodel and Airport Improvement grants; and several other equipment purchase that otherwise could not have been made.

The City of Dallas Center’s city council has committed to utilizing over half of all revenue collected from all L.O.S.T. funds to large infrastructure projects (like storm water system improvements, waste water treatment upgrades, roads and other capital improvements) with 25% of all L.O.S.T. funds received to be applied directly to property tax relief for Dallas Center residents. Other proposed uses are for non-essential community asset improvements, such as constructing: a new community swimming pool; a new and modern library; bike trail enhancements and improvements to local parks.

The passage of the one-cent local option sales tax will allow Dallas County communities to have a reliable stream of revenue to benefits their residents at a time when state and federal dollars are becoming more difficult to obtain. The passage of the one-cent local option sales tax will enable municipal governments to provide property tax relief for its residents and reduce operating expenses. On November 7th, Vote YES on the one-cent Local Option Sales Tax.

Mark J. Powell

Dallas Center, IA