Johnston residents will get the chance to vote August 6 on a ballot issue to authorize a local option sales and services tax.

The ballot measure would increase sales and service tax by one-cent within Johnston. If approved, revenue generated from the tax would return approximately $3.25 million to the Johnston community.

This tax policy change has been proposed in various communities within the Des Moines metro. Communities that vote yes to participate will receive a share of the revenue, which means Johnston would benefit from spending both within the community and from spending in participating neighbor communities.

Several other Des Moines communities have previously passed the measure: Des Moines, Alleman, Altoona, Pleasant Hill, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights. Johnston residents and others who shop, eat at a restaurant or visit entertainment areas in these other communities are already paying the increased sales tax as of July 1. Johnston residents will only benefit from the tax revenue if the measure is approved.

How Would Revenue Be Used if the Measure is Approved?

The Department of Revenue estimated approximately $3.25 million in revenue generated from the tax would be allocated to the Johnston community. The City of Johnston has committed to allocating at least 50% to reducing property taxes.

Approving the measure would effectively reduce the property tax rate by one full dollar beginning July 1, 2020. While the actual tax rate won’t be determined until the City’s FY 2021 budget is set, the new rate is expected to land around $10.65, keeping the City tax rate competitive with other area communities.

The remainder of the revenue would be used for public safety, parks and trails, infrastructure, library services, recreational activities, and more.

Any eligible voter in Johnston may participate in this election. The voting location for Johnston residents is your normal polling place. If you are unsure of where to vote, click here.

For more information, visit the City of Johnston website.

The Johnston Economic Development Corporation does not endorse or oppose ballot issues. We do encourage our members and partners to be informed and to vote in their respective communities.