PLEASANT HILL, Iowa -- The City of Pleasant Hill overwhelmingly disapproved of the Local Option Sales and Services Tax one year ago, handing down a 65 percent no vote in March of 2018.
On Tuesday night, city leaders were able to flip the results due to an increase in marketing. "I definitely got a lot more information in the mail. My neighbor is a strong supporter so he came over and knocked on our door and gave us a little more information," said Lisa Levine, who voted in favor of the tax. While the issue passed in a big way, the decision for a second vote is not sitting well with everyone. Buddy Bellis voted against the tax and asked, “I don’t know if they’ve changed their marketing strategy or whatever, but if the people vote no once, shouldn’t that be enough?"
The second time is the charm for Pleasant Hill. 85 percent of the revenue generated from the tax will go towards property tax relief while the other fifteen percent will be used on city-wide projects, parks, recreation, trails and public safety. It is benefits Lisa Levine is in full support of, but naysayers like Bellis remain skeptical. "Probably the biggest thing is we are in need of a new fire department and our police area is small too, so we need to develop," said Levine. Bellis added, "As long as they do with the proceeds what they say they are going to do, then it wouldn’t bother me at all, but I have a hard time believing that is what will happen.”
Pleasant Hill estimates the tax would have generated a $1.4 million in the first year. The one percent sales tax will go into effect July 1, 2019.