5 Metro Communities a Week Away From Local Option Sales Tax Vote

JOHNSTON, Iowa -- One week from Tuesday, residents in Bondurant, Clive, Grimes, Urbandale and Johnston will all have the chance to vote on a one-cent sales tax increase.

If approved, those cities would join Des Moines, Altoona, Pleasant Hill, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights, which already approved the increase.

Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld said if approved, this would benefit the Johnston community because half the money from the tax would be used for property tax relief and the rest of the money would go toward public safety, the library, city projects, parks and trails.

Dierenfeld said many Johnston residents are already paying this tax increase when they make purchases in other parts of the metro.

"If Johnston residents don't approve the local option sales tax next week, the dollars that they spend in those other communities will stay in those communities and benefit the residents in those communities. With the local option sales tax, we have an opportunity to bring those dollars, our Johnston tax payers dollars back home to Johnston to benefit Johnston residents," Dierenfeld said.

Dierenfeld said according to the Iowa Department of Revenue, if the tax increase is approved this would bring more than $3 million back to Johnston.

One Johnston business owner says he believes the local option sales tax is a regional issue.

“I went through that process as a resident in one community, as an employee/owner of a business in yet another community, I shop and spend my money in many other communities so I understand that all of that sort of works together and I sure hope the community where I live gets the share of the local sales tax that I am spending in other jurisdictions and that’s what I would hope for in the community where I do business here in the city of Johnston,” SEH Inc. Business and Community Development Director Lucas Casey said.

Whether this tax is approved or not could also affect his business. They have a road project they’re currently working on where half the road is in Johnston and the other half is in Urbandale.

“And I think it’s a perfect example to say that we need parity across the region across the community so that the revenue being generated in one community versus the other is being shared and being given the fair share to the community where they have the responsibility of keeping up this infrastructure,” Casey said.

Johnston residents can find out more information about the LOSST and where to vote here.

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