Voters in Iowa’s largest county have hiked the sales tax on goods and services by one penny — with the proceeds going to rebuild Des Moines-area schools. It passed by a 56 to 44 percent margin and goes into effect in Polk County on July 1st. About 97-thousand voters cast ballots. An enormous amount of money was collected to wage the campaign in favor of the penny sales tax increase. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board executive director Kay Williams says public reports show 620-thousand dollars was collected by the “Schools First” committee.Williams says it’s unusual for that much money to be spent on an election about school finances.Williams fields all sorts of questions from folks involved in local elections about financing new schools and fixing up old ones.Tax opponents in Polk County helped defeat a proposed sales tax increase in a previous vote this summer. For yesterday’s election, the group raised 56-hundred dollars for their “vote no” campaign.Voters have passed a sales tax hike for school improvements in eight counties;Black Hawk, Des Moines, Emmet, Monona, Scott, Shelby, Webster and Woodbury. The increase passed by Webster county was a half cent.
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