The petition, containing more than 2,000 signatures, to have Local Option Sales Tax put on the ballot for a special election this year, was presented to the Dallas County Board of Supervisors at their regular weekly meeting on Tuesday in Adel. Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson officially handed the signatures over and the petition was received and filed by the Supervisors.
The Supervisors voted to set a special election date of Nov. 7, 2017. This will be the same day as this year’s city elections.
If approved by Dallas County voters, the Local Option Sales Tax will add one percent to the sales tax to go towards city services, in cities that choose to impose the tax.
After a preliminary review of the signatures before the meeting, Dallas County deputy auditor Kim Owen said that out of the 2,187 signatures received, 52 were thrown out due to addresses that were post office boxes, or only listed a city, which left 2,135 signatures. They were still well over the 1,929 needed to have the issue on the ballot.
Now that the petition has been filed and the election date is set, Dallas County Auditor, Julia Helm says all cities in Dallas County, who don’t already have Local Option Sales Tax in place, have to clarify their ballot language and participate in the election.
“There is no opting out of the election, if the petition comes in, from what I understand from the Secretary of State, unless you already have the Local Option Sales Tax in your jurisdiction,” Helm said.
Helm anticipates that most of the cities that already have it will still participate.
Currently, the cities of Adel, Bouton, Dawson, Perry and Redfield already have Local Option Sales Tax in place. Adel is the only one without a sunset as Dawson’s will sunset at the end of this year with Perry sunsetting in 2019 and Bouton and Redfield sunsetting in 2020.
Cities that don’t want Local Option Sales Tax in their cities can choose not to impose the tax after the election is over.
The election will only include Dallas County voters, including cities like Urbandale, Clive, Grimes and West Des Moines, which are all partially in Dallas and partially in Polk Counties.
For Urbandale, Clive, West Des Moines, Waukee and Grimes, they will have to pass it altogether or vote it down altogether, since they are contiguous cities. Each city will still get to specify its own ballot language and decide what they want to spend the income on in the future.
For contiguous cities, it will be one ballot measure for all of them and will include the ballot language for each city.