Ankeny residents have the opportunity to vote on the Polk County Local Option Sales Tax in a special election held March 6. If approved, it is projected this one-cent tax would generate $6.8 million for the City of Ankeny and more than $79 million county-wide.

How will Ankeny use the $6.8 million?

  • City Council determined 65 percent of the revenues will be used to reduce property taxes. Ankeny city tax rate would decrease by 11.2 percent. 
  • 35 percent will be used for Capital Improvement Projects including:
    • New Senior Center
    • Street improvements to upgrade safety and mobility
    • Park and trail improvements including extending the High Trestle Trail and adding an overpass and underpass at Oralabor Road and Ankeny Boulevard.
    • Recreational facilities - undergoing master plan to identify future projects
    • Traffic flow improvements
    • Debt retirement

Q & A

What is the Local Option Sales Tax?

Counties in Iowa have the ability to pass a one percent local option sales and services tax to benefit municipalities. 93 percent of Iowa cities collect local option sales tax. This tax would provide the City of Ankeny a revenue source from people who live outside the city limits, but use Ankeny resources. It is estimated that nearly 35 percent of sales tax collected in Ankeny is from nonresidents. 

What language will be on the ballot?

To authorize imposition of a local sales and services tax in the City of Ankeny at the rate of one percent (1%) to be effective from July 1, 2018, until repealed. Revenues from the sales and services tax are to be allocated as follows: FOR THE CITY OF ANKENY: Sixty-five percent (65%) of such revenues for property tax relief. Thirty-five percent (35%) of such revenues for capital projects, including constructing and equipping a senior center, street improvements, park and trail improvements and recreational facilities; other public infrastructure; and debt retirement.

Will the Local Option Sales Tax increase only be paid by Polk County residents?

No, any visitor to Polk County retail and service businesses that charge sales tax would also be charged the 1 percent Local Option Sales Tax if approved. Currently, Ankeny residents pay a Local Option Sales Tax when visiting many other Iowa cities.

What sales and services will be affected by the Local Option Sales Tax?

One percent of sales tax will be applied to retail sales and certain services. Exceptions include:
• Room rentals, in a hotel, motel, or other similar facility
• Sale of motor vehicles
• Sales of equipment by the State Department of Transportation
• Sales of natural gas or electric energy subject to a city- or county-imposed franchise fee or users fee
• The sale of direct-to-home satellite pay television service
• Self-propelled building equipment, pile drivers, motorized scaffolding, or attachments customarily drawn or attached to them, including auxiliary attachments which improve their performance, safety, operation, or efficiency and including replacement parts used by contractors, subcontractors and builders for new construction, reconstruction, alterations, expansion or remodeling of real property or structures

What will this cost the average Ankeny resident per-year?

Ankeny residents will pay an additional one percent sales tax at retail establishments in Polk County. However, revenue from the Local Option Sales Tax will be used to reduce property taxes and support capital improvements across our community.

If approved, when would the Local Option Sales Tax be implemented?

If approved, the Local Option Sales Tax would become effective starting July 1, 2018.

Is the election countywide?

The election is countywide except for the two cities in Polk County that already have Local Option Sales Tax (Polk City and Sheldahl).

Will this vote impact my property taxes?

This vote will not increase your property taxes, but would provide property tax relief as stated in the City’s revenue purpose statement noted above in the ballot language. If approved in Ankeny, 65 percent of revenues would be used to provide property tax relief. It is projected to provide an 11.2 percent decrease on the city tax levy for property owners. 

Can I vote via absentee ballot in this election?

Yes, you must request an absentee ballot through the Polk County Election Office. The law has changed in regards to voting via absentee ballot.

  • The earliest a ballot can be requested for an election is 120 days prior to the election date.
  • The final date that an absentee ballot can be mailed to the Polk County Election office is 10 days prior to the Primary/General Election and 11 days prior to all other elections.
  • Absentee/Early voting begins 29 days before the election.
  • You MUST use your Iowa Driver's/Non-Operator License number (if you have one) or the PIN number from your Iowa Voter Verification Card in order to receive an absentee ballot.

For a more detailed Q & A about Local Option Sales Tax, visit the Iowa Department of Revenue website.