Sales Tax or Property Tax Hike Likely For Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Most of the metro will pick between a sales tax hike or property tax increase when they head to the polls Tuesday.

The local option sales and service tax increase failed among bordering cities in Polk County last year. This year, cities can vote individually.

Six cities are doing just that. Voters in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Altoona, Pleasant Hill, Windsor Heights, and Alleman will vote to raise the sales tax by a penny.

For people in Des Moines taxes are going up. It is just a matter of which one.

“Why I voted no is because sales tax on the face are regressive in nature," Des Moines resident Mark Cooper said.

If passed, the city estimates it will generate $37 million.

“I am absolutely in favor of the local option sales tax," Des Moines resident Jenni Klise said.

As it stands now, about $18 million will cut property taxes by 60 cents.

“Nothing would make me vote for a sales tax increase. I would vote for a property tax increase," Cooper said.

On a $150,000 home, that would equate to $48.00 to $55.00 in savings.

“We can put a reduction on there now and keep an eye on it ever having to be raised in the future," Des Moines City Council member Bill Gray said.

The city can spend the other $18 million on anything it sees fit, but it is proposing some of the money pay for street repairs and flood prevention.

Last year the city blamed flash flooding on outdated storm sewer drains.

Parts of the Four Mile Creek and Beaverdale areas took on more than four feet of water. Residents like Jenni Klise had homes caught in the middle of it.

“There is a major need in the city of Des Moines. We are desperate for our infrastructure to be repaired. The city has heard our cries now. I hope the citizens hear our cries," Klise said.

Now funding those projects are in the hands of voters.

If the local option sales and services tax fails, the city will raise property taxes by 30 cents.

Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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