On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, a vote will take place on an issue that is very important to the citizens of Carlisle.
The registered voters of Carlisle will be deciding whether to participate in the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST).
LOST increases the sales tax in a jurisdiction by one cent, returning the extra penny per dollar back to the City through a formula based on amount of transactions, property valuation, and population. Many essential items such as gas, food, and medicine are not affected by LOST. While Carlisle residents would see an increase in their sales tax expenses, a large portion of the sale tax revenue would also be paid by non-residents traveling through the city using our services and streets
Based on estimates in a spreadsheet developed by the Iowa Department of Revenue, the City would retain almost $190,000 under LOST in the next fiscal year.
On August 10, 2015, the City Council passed a resolution indicating how the revenue will be distributed if the LOST is approved.
There have been some questions as to how the portion for streets and sidewalk projects would be allocated. The Council realizes that there are many streets in Carlisle with major decay, but that there is only one place where money for street improvements can be taken– road use money from the state. The only other way to obtain money for street improvements would be through borrowing or assessing property owners, increasing property taxes. While not all expenses for road improvements will be covered by the LOST revenue, the Council wishes to use half of the revenue on street improvements in order to lessen the increase in property taxes.
Expenses for public safety increase every year. We need to ensure we have operating vehicles (police vehicles, fire trucks, and ambulances) that are in good condition and can respond to an emergency as quick as possible. There are future concerns that will require funding such as computer replacement, radios, and body cameras with the computer storage capacity to store the videos.
The City also feels that a lot of the expense for street repairs and public safety should be shared with those who travel through our community but do not share in paying for that expense through property tax. These individuals would help pay for these services in the form of the extra sales tax.
We as the City cannot spend money to tell you which way to vote, however, we need to make sure you have information on what will happen if the vote is for or against the LOST referendum.
Carlisle residents can vote by absentee ballot. Residents can send a request to the auditor’s office now for a ballot to be sent to them later. The request must be made using the official request form, which is obtained at: Iowa Secretary of State or calling the county auditor’s office at (515) 961-1020. Request forms must be received by Monday, Feb. 29th. Ballots must be postmarked by 8pm Tuesday, Mar. 1st.
Informational meetings will be held on Tuesday Feb. 9th and Tuesday Feb. 23rd at 7pm at the Carlisle Family Life Center, at 405 School Street.
Additional information can be found at the following Links:
Or for more information, please call (515) 989-3224.