At this week’s meeting of the Dallas County Supervisors, the big issue that helped fill the boardroom was the local option sales tax.
The cities in the County recently completed a petition that will put a measure on the November general election ballot. The Supervisors are allowed to set certain aspects of the ballot language, including whether there would be a sunset date for the tax. They had discussed the possibility of imposing a 10-year sunset for all cities voting on the tax, though that didn’t sit well with local government officials.
City leaders from around the County attended the meeting to voice their dissention. Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson was among those in attendance, and he explained the thinking of the cities. “The general consensus of the communities is that everybody wants to be able to make that choice of when that sunset is locally. So take for instance Perry, we didn’t necessarily put a sunset on ours. Just for the means of being able to plan long term, and think about the really large projects that we may need to stretch out a little bit beyond 10 or 15 years sunset.”
Perry Mayor Jay Pattee got the ball rolling in the discussion. He was followed by other mayors opposing the sunset, including Alan Adams from Van Meter, Butch Ostrander from DeSoto, Brian Devick from Woodward, and Bill Peard from Waukee. Dallas Center Mayor Mike Kidd had also emailed his opposition to the Board. Additionally, Clive City Manager Dennis Henderson and former DeSoto City Council member Robert Greenway spoke against the sunset.
In the end, the Supervisors were convinced, and they unanimously voted to not impose the countywide sunset. The cities in the County have until August 21st to submit their ballot language for the local option sales tax measure to the auditor’s office. They can choose to include a sunset date if they desire.