There’s been a lot of talk about taxes at the federal level, but closer to home, just one Iowa town added a local sales tax at the start of the New Year. Iowa Department of Revenue spokesperson, Victoria Daniels says the only change was the addition of a one-cent local option sales tax in the small community of Birmingham in Van Buren County.
Several communities had initiated a new local option sales tax to pay for local priorities in recent years, and Daniels says that may be why there was just one this year. “Most of the communities have adopted one. Polk County is the exception where only two towns have the tax. But I think one of the other things is that taxpayers don’t want increased taxes,” Daniels says.
She says concerns about the economy are likely driving the anti-tax climate. “The best example is what happened in Linn County. At least two times voters were put to the question of local option sales tax for flood recovery primarily, and it was voted down both times,” Daniels says.
Several communities where the local option sales tax was set to expire did vote to either eliminate the sunset or extend it into the future. With the state tax now at six-percent, consumers pay a full seven-cents on the dollar in areas which have approved a one-cent local option tax.
Daniels says while its technically not a tax, a new surcharge did go into effect statewide Tuesday. Purchasers of prepaid wireless cards will pay the same 65-cent fee that other cellphone users pay to fund 9-1-1 service.