DES MOINES, Iowa — Voters in Des Moines will once again be asked to approve a sales tax increase. On Monday, the city council voted to put the one cent increase on the ballot in a special election next year.
City leaders say it will generate up to $37 million a year. Half of the money will go toward property tax relief. Roughly $18 million will go towards projects like fixing blighted homes and updating failed infrastructure.
The proposal would increase sales tax from six cents to seven cents on the dollar.
“It is an inconvenience that it would make anything cost more, but depending on what it’s going towards, I think it could be good,” Kayna Patel said.
Out of the $18 million, city leaders say some $7 million would go towards updating outdated infrastructure such as storm sewer drains.
The city says the floods back in June were caused in part by crumbling storm sewer drains that succumbed to the record high rain fall. Neighborhoods were flooded with more than four feet water.
“I am among many residents who had major damage in the flood of June 30th, for which I’m still paying I might add, so I think I speak for a lot of other people who suffered damage,” said Gloria Hoffman. “We are very pleased that you are you going to include infrastructure repair of storm sewer drain programs for Des Moines.”
If voters approve the increase, city council is not obligated to spend any money on failing infrastructure, but the city council assures residents it will.
“You look out and see the people who have been impacted by the flooding, or just in general the housing and all the issues we want to address. I think this is a great opportunity,” Des Moines City Councilor Connie Boesen said.