Local Option Sales & Services Tax

As a result of action taken by the Polk County Board of Supervisors, a special election will be held in Polk County regarding the imposition of a 1% Local Option Sales and Services Tax (LOSST), on March 6, 2018. As a result of this action, the City Council approved Johnston’s ballot language for the LOSST vote, as follows:

  • Not less than fifty percent (50%) to be allocated for property tax relief, applied first to reduce the debt service levy before being applied to other levies., and,

    Not more than fifty percent (50%) for capital improvement and quality of life projects which may include, but are not limited to; street, sidewalk and public utility improvements, public safety capital expenditures, park and trail improvements, and for other public purposes the city deems appropriate.
Two informational sessions were available to answer questions on LOSST. If you were unable to attend, but would like to view the presentation, click here (PDF).

Quick information about LOSST

Click here to review the Frequently Asked Questions

Click here (PDF) to download the handout that visually explains LOSST. Click here to view the YouTube video presentation.
The current property tax levy is $11.39/$1,000 of taxable valuation. Of that $11.39, $3.61 is applied to the debt the City has incurred from the construction of public improvements over time. Based on information provided by the State of Iowa, the estimated amount of annual LOSST funding (FY16 projections) for Johnston is $2,576,420 (3.19% of the total collections in Polk County). If 50% of the LOSST funding were used for property tax relief in the form of lowering the debt service levy, it would reduce the levy by $0.87/$1,000 of from $3.61 to $2.74.

The remainder of the LOSST revenue (not more than 50%) will be applied toward funding projects (capital improvements and quality of life) that will reduce the money the City needs to borrow in the future, thus lowering future debt. A sample of planned projects that may be funded by LOSST revenues:

  • NW 62nd Avenue improvements (east of Merle Hay Road, including trails/sidewalks)
  • Sidewalk connections and repairs
  • Creating a recreation trail along Pioneer Parkway
  • Constructing a playground at Johnston Commons
  • Improving trail connectivity and extended trails along NW 86th Street
  • Water trail development
  • Greenwood Hills Park improvements, including shelter
  • Adventure Ridge Park restroom
  • Dewey Park restroom replacement and playground
  • Crosshaven park improvements
  • Ray Schleihs Park playground 

The City of Johnston encourages you to go to the polls on March 6 to vote on whether the City of Johnston should have LOSST as a revenue source for property tax relief and the projects identified above.