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City of Des Moines

Proposition No. 1
Utility Occupation Tax for Des Moines Streets

This proposition increases the City Utility Occupation Tax to pay for paving existing City streets.

The Des Moines City Council proposes to improve City streets to prevent their further deterioration. This proposition increases the current 6% Utility Occupation Tax to 8% for twenty (20) years authorizing 2.0% for paving existing City streets.

Should this proposition be:



If approved by voters, Proposition 1 would authorize the City of Des Moines to increase the Utility Occupation Tax on utilities from 6% to 8% for a period of twenty (20) years to provide funding for paving existing city streets. The decline in Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) and reduction of property values has reduced the sources of revenue which had provided funding for the City’s streets capital construction projects. Funds from the 2.0% increase would be dedicated to pavement overlays, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of existing City streets. Individual street projects would be selected based on pavement condition and the optimum time to minimize overall street system preservation, maintenance, and rehabilitation costs. Taxes received and money spent will be tracked so the public can be assured that their money is being used for these purposes.

For additional questions regarding this measure contact: Bonnie Wilkins - City Clerk 206-870-6519 •

The City is upgrading infrastructure and providing for economic growth and community prosperity by securing funding from other government sources for new road improvements. Unfortunately, there is no money available to maintain existing roads.

Street pavement overlay and restoration is years behind due to the dramatic decline in Real Estate Excise Tax revenue. It takes $1.4 million a year to maintain the street system. That is why additional funding is needed.

The City Council listened to your concerns about a similar proposal in 2011. What is different? If approved, the rate will increase by only 2% (from 6% to 8%), rather than by 3%. This proposal would be limited to 20 years, instead of being permanent. And these funds are dedicated only to street pavement overlays and restoration, and nothing else!

If approved, the City estimates this tax increase would cost a typical family about $10.00 per month. Projects will focus on pavement condition, optimum time to preserve the system, and rehabilitation costs. The City would strive to: maintain geographic balance; group projects to achieve contracting effi ciencies; minimize disruptions; and coordinate work with other utilities.

Please, vote YES to preserve our streets. Please vote YES on Prop 1!

Our City council has an unlimited supply of money. It’s in yours and my wallet!
In 2010 we voted NO to raising utility taxes!
Apparently they don’t understand NO!
Our council has a history of ignoring budgets or voter input.
Our city has ignored resurfacing streets for over 10 years.
They’ve spent tens of thousands on nonessential services in the last ten years.
Vote YES, and we CAN’T control how our money is spent.
Vote NO, and we WILL prevent them spending our money on things other than roads.
They spent MILLIONS of our utility taxes to stop the 3rd runway.
2 unscientific surveys showed: Over 2/3rds of the voters opposed spending taxes on that fight.
Several, who wasted all that money are still council members. You might ask:
How’s that working out?
Remember in 2006 when we voted yes for a levy lid lift tax to hire more Police.
We now have a smaller Police department than before 2006.
Do you believe this council can resist spending new utility taxes on things other than roads? I don’t think so!
Do you think: Raising taxes will help this council solve any problems? If not: Please be sure to VOTE NO.

Same old spurious arguments. So many falsehoods.
Voters turned down an increase in 2011 for roads and Beach Park. Not just roads.
Utility taxes haven’t been spent on fighting the Third Runway for 8 years!
The City last paved roads in 2010. It hasn’t been ignored.
Don’t trust the opposition’s lies. Drive S. 223rd, 8th Ave S. or any number of
other roads to see the need for yourself. Vote YES on Prop 1!

Statement submitted by: Al Isaac •

Do you want to pay 33% more utility taxes for 20 years?
Do you see anywhere in the proposition where it says “dedicated only”?
Street maintenance is supposed to be paid by real estate taxes, not utility taxes.
The city spends more maintaining parks than our streets.
This city council ignored the condition of our streets for over a decade.
Now they want to raise our utility taxes to fix their problem.

Statement submitted by: Donald F. Wasson •

Simple Majority (RCW 35.21.870(1))

1256 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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