Another year, another tax vote

On March 5, 2019, 6 communities in Polk County will hold special elections to try and add a one-cent local option sales tax (LOSST). Last year, these communities held an election for the same purpose. However, in 2018 the law required contiguous communities to pass the tax as though they were a single city. State legislators rushed to pass legislation that has since become law allowing LOSST to be implemented if supported by the majority of voters in a community regardless of how neighboring cities vote.

In 2018 Polk County Libertarians expressed opposition to LOSST and for the upcoming election have come out firmly against the sales tax increase. We ask voters in Alleman, Altoona, Des Moines, Pleasant Hill, West Des Moines, and Windsor Heights to vote “No” on March 5, 2019.

Early/absentee voting begins on Monday, February 4th. The last day to request an absentee (vote by mail) ballot is Friday, February 22nd. Remember, in the 2018 election the number of absentee/early voters supporting LOSST was only a few dozen votes short of the spread between “No” and “Yes” votes. Voting matters and early/absentee voting helps you exercise your right to vote.

Polk County Libertarians invite you to join us for a discussion of the sales tax on Saturday, February 9, 2019, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We will be meeting at Smokey Row, 1910 Cottage Grove Avenue in Des Moines. We will be looking at the language of the ballot measures, how that language can be interpreted to justify expenditures (necessary or excessive), experiences of communities that passed LOSST in 2018 (including Bondurant and our neighbors in Dallas County), as well as the general approach of sales versus property tax to fund local government. We would also like to hear from voters in communities such as Ankeny that soundly defeated LOSST in 2018.

We also note that Clive and other communities not holding LOSST elections in March have talked about holding special elections in August of 2019 should the communities voting on March 5th pass the sales tax option. The reasoning given for the August vote is similar to, “They did, so we should, too.”

If you would like to help make phone calls to voters urging them to vote and to vote “No,” Americans for Prosperity is holding phone banks for that purpose. You may contact Polk County Libertarians through our Facebook page (, through our email (, or by posting a comment to this item. We will then put you in touch with our volunteer coordinator for this project. Please note not all of the contact options are checked daily.

For text of each community’s ballot measure, to request an absentee ballot, or for any other election-related question, visit the Polk County Auditor’s website at: 

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