One-Cent Local Option Sales Tax Vote

Regular City Election November 7, 2017
Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The One-Cent Local Option Sales Tax and What it Means

A citizens petition was submitted to the Dallas County Board of Supervisors in late July asking for a 1% LOSST vote to be held in Dallas County on Election Day 2017. Once the Board of Supervisors accepted the petition, they requested each City within Dallas County to submit ballot language for their communities by August 15.

Now Waukee residents, along with the rest of Dallas County, will have the opportunity to vote on November 7 on the countywide referendum for a one-cent local option sales tax. The tax would be collected on a countywide basis and distributed to communities through a formula based on population and prior taxable valuations. Waukee would receive a projected $2 million annually from the local option sales tax.

Here's what will appear on the ballot:
"SHALL THE FOLLOWING PUBLIC MEASURE BE ADOPTED?

Summary: To authorize imposition of a local sales and services tax in the City of Waukee at the rate of one percent (1%) to be effective on July 1, 2018.

Revenues from the sales and service tax shall be allocated as follows:

50% of such revenues to be allocated for property tax relief.

50% of such revenues for city quality of life improvement purposes, including but not limited to recreational/sports complexes, community center, trails, parks, arts, cultural amenities, historic preservation, and for other public uses the city deems appropriate."

In order for the measure to pass, it must be approved by a majority of voters in the combined communities of Waukee, West Des Moines, Urbandale and Clive, situated in Dallas County.

Improving Waukee Parks and Investing in Public Safety

If the measure passes, the $2 million of annual revenues predicted for the City of Waukee would be split into two initiatives - improving Waukee parks and investing in public safety.

Improving Parks:
The $1 million of the annual revenues would be used to finance park improvements and additions over a four-year period. At the City's current rate of park improvement funding, the same amount of improvements without the new sales tax are projected to take 13 years, as opposed to four. These projects include the completion of Fox Creek Park Phase II, including the splash pad and play areas; the addition of the new Westown Meadows Park east of SE Willowbrook Drive and north of SE Tallgrass Lane; the completion of the Waukee Dog Park's Phase II, an additional $2 million investment in Waukee's Youth Sports Complex and much more. 

Click here to see maps, details and costs of the proposed projects, as well as results of a community survey related to park support.

Investing in Public Safety:
The City's population growth continues to trigger an increase in public safety calls for service throughout the community. Calls for service for both the Waukee Fire and Police Departments have nearly doubled in the last decade. The FD's calls went from 707 in 2006 to 1,367 in 2016. The PD responded to 8,314 calls for service in 2016 alone.

The current Waukee Public Safety Building is becoming crowded and will not serve the needs of the Waukee Police and Fire Departments long-term. A new Waukee Public Safety Building will need to be built to keep up with the growth; the target date for completion is 2025. 

If the sales tax option passes, half of each year’s revenue, or $1 million, would be escrowed to put toward the construction of this facility. Without the sales tax measure, the City would still plan to open the building in 2025, but the City would borrow funds and pay for the facility with property taxes. If the measure passes, it would likely offset an estimated $0.80/$1,000 of valuation for property owners going forward. The City’s property tax levy has remained at $13.50/$1,000 for almost 18 years.

Public Information Meeting

Learn more at a public information meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Waukee City Hall located at 230 W. Hickman Road.