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Des Moines will cut property tax levy if local option sales tax is approved


The city of Des Moines will devote 50 percent of an estimated $38 million in revenues that would be generated by an additional 1 cent sales tax to property tax relief, provided in the form of a reduction of 40 cents per $1,000 of valuation on its tax levy rate, according to a resolution approved Monday by the City Council. The city’s base levy for the current fiscal year is $17.04 per $1,000 of valuation. Polk County voters will decide on March 6 whether to approve the 1 cent local option sales tax. Without the additional revenue, the city would need to raise the tax levy rate $1.50 per $1,000 of valuation to “maintain acceptable levels of city services and neighborhood investments,” according to the resolution. If approved, the city would spend 20 percent of the revenue on neighborhood improvements, 20 percent on street improvement and 10 percent on public safety improvements and expenses, including the funding of 13 firefighter positions that are currently paid out of a soon-to-expire federal grant program. With all cities in Polk County calling for the local option vote, Polk County supervisors were expected to approve a resolution today establishing a March 6 election date, with the local option sales tax taking effect July 1, matching the startup date of the local option sales tax in Dallas County, where voters overwhelmingly approved the tax in November. Read more at BusinessRecord.com.

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