New 1-Cent Sales Tax to Trigger DSM Improvements


Your Local Option Sales & Service Tax At WorkDES MOINES, IOWA — Wednesday, June 26, 2019 — A historic era for Des Moines begins next week when the one-cent Local Option Sales & Service Tax takes effect on Monday, July 1. The penny sales tax increase, approved by 70 percent of voters in March, will generate roughly $37 million annually for property tax relief, infrastructure upgrades, public safety enhancements and neighborhood improvements.

The City of Des Moines is committed to pursuing public projects, services and initiatives that will provide the most benefit to residents, businesses and community organizations. Following the March vote, City Manager Scott Sanders explained that voters voiced their priorities loud and clear.

“With the approval of Local Option, Des Moines voters demonstrated overwhelming support for our city and its neighborhoods,” Sanders said. “They also delivered a clear mandate to all of us who serve this City and its residents, and we look forward to delivering on our promise to use these funds responsibly and in a transparent manner.”  

By state law, 50 percent of the new sales tax revenue must go toward property tax relief. After receiving approval from voters, Des Moines City Council reduced the City’s property tax levy rate to the lowest it has been in the past seven years.

City Council allocated the remaining 50 percent of anticipated Local Option revenue to street and storm sewer upgrades, neighborhood improvements, including removal of blighted houses and expanded library hours and public safety enhancements that include continued funding for 13 firefighter positions and mobile mental health crisis services for youth.

It is estimated that one-third of the additional revenue generated by the one-cent sales tax will be paid by people living outside of Des Moines through entertainment, shopping, dining and hotel stays. The tax will not apply to things such as groceries, gas or prescription drugs, as determined by the Iowa Department of Revenue.

Following each fiscal year, the city manager will conduct an audit and publish an annual report outlining how the Local Option revenue has been invested throughout the city. The public can learn more about Des Moines’ Local Option by visiting

Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

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 
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