City manager: Council would act quickly if sales tax approved
Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders said in an interview that the Des Moines City Council will meet in special session a day or two after the March 6 vote on a 1 percent local option sales tax that would take effect July 1. If the measure passes, the council will be looking to cut the city property tax rate by 40 cents per $1,000 in taxable valuation. Sanders has developed one proposed budget that includes revenue from the tax — expected to be $37 million a year for Des Moines — and another draft budget that does not. If voters approve the sales tax increase, a follow-up meeting of the council in about a month will get down to the details on initial projects. “You said you wanted to improve the neighborhoods, so what does that look like?” Sanders said. The city would use half the sales tax receipts to offset property taxes, 20 percent for street improvements and 20 percent for neighborhood improvements. The remaining 10 percent would go to public safety. The suburbs and Polk County have individual plans for their tax receipts.