Despite COVID, Local Option Sales Tax Delivers nearly $34.5 Million to City

Fiscal Year 2021 Use of Local Option FundsDES MOINES, IOWA – Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 – The City of Des Moines’ Local Option Sales & Service Tax weathered the ill effects of the COVID pandemic and finished the fiscal year with nearly $34.5 million in new tax revenue. City Finance Director Nick Schaul said the $34,481,809 in tax revenue for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021 was only a 9.5% decline from the previous year of $38,103,466.

“No one ever wants to see a revenue decline in our tax revenue but considering the downturn in the retail and service sectors driven by the pandemic, we finished the second half of the year pretty well,” Schaul said. “We anticipate that rebound to continue.”

During a presentation today to the City Council, Schaul estimated the Local Option revenue would top $40 million for the year ending next June.

“When Des Moines voters approved Local Option more than two years ago, they demonstrated overwhelming support for our City and neighborhoods. This sent a clear mandate to those of us who serve this City and its residents," City Manager Scott Sanders said. "That’s why we have worked diligently since 2019 to deliver on our promise and use these funds in a productive, responsible and transparent manner.”

As required by state law, half of the Local Option revenue goes toward property tax relief. Funds also went toward street rehabilitation, stormwater upgrades, enhanced public safety, neighborhood improvement and financial reserves. This chart shows a breakdown of how the revenue was used.

A copy of the 19-page Local Option Sales & Service Tax Fiscal Year 2021 Expenditure Report may be found here.

For more information and additional details about expenditures, please go to our updated Local Option Sales & Service Tax webpage

Al Setka
Chief Communications Officer, City Manager’s Office 
(515) 283-4057 (office)
(515) 979-9276 (mobile)

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.