ThePerryNews Editorial: Vote Yes on local option sales tax (LOST)

Dallas County voters overwhelmingly approved a one-cent local option sales tax (LOST) in elections Tuesday.

Perry’s residents and visitors have been paying the one-cent local option sales tax (LOST) for 20 years and if voters are wise, they will renew the LOST tax at the polls Tuesday.

It is not a new tax or a tax increase. The benefits to Perry residents paid for in whole or in part by the LOST tax are many and have lately been listed in several public meetings, but the list is worth reviewing again.

LOST revenues in Perry have paid:

  • for 60 blocks of recently paved streets,
  • for police cars, fire trucks, snow plows and garbage trucks,
  • for equipment upgrades and building maintenance in virtually every department of city services,
  • for library books and computers,
  • for enhancements to Perry’s parks, including playground and fitness equipment, walking and biking trails and the new soccer complex,
  • and for many other things listed in this .pdf file

I repeat: The LOST tax is not a new tax or an increase to an existing tax in Perry. In some other towns in Dallas County, it is a first-time tax, but not in Perry.

Some people either do not understand this themselves, or they do understand but seek to mislead others. Others are averse to taxation on principle and will oppose every tax whatsoever for any purpose whatsoever. For instance, one reader claims:

Most people would benefit by using their money to pay for necessities rather than a new park bench or stuff to pretty up a bike trail and millions for a cosmetically enhanced cop shop. I encourage people to seek the truth, actively preserve and protect what they have worked for.

This reader apparently does not count police cars, fire trucks, snow plows and garbage trucks among the “necessities,” or perhaps she is a Libertarian extremist who feels it’s every man for himself and God against all. Extreme Libertarians believe each person should build his own roads and educate his own children and grow his own food and generate his own electricity with his own coal-burning power plant.

“Organized hatred” is how one commentator described extreme Libertarianism in its rejection of collective action.

Happily for society, Libertarian extremists are few. The vast majority of reasonable people understand that we are all in this together and that taxes are necessary to fund our schools, our hospitals, our public health and safety, and many other public goods that preserve and protect our quality of life. And that is why the vast majority of reasonable people will vote Yes on the local option sales tax (LOST) Tuesday.

All residents of Perry will cast their ballots Tuesday at the McCreary Community Building at 1800 Pattee St. between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. The Perry Chamber of Commerce will be serving chili and pie at the MCB between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Virtually every town and county in the state of Iowa already collects the one-cent local option sales tax (LOST) and enjoys its local benefits. Dallas County voters should follow suit and vote Yes on the LOST tax Tuesday.


  1. Folks, when will they learn to keep a polling station at the library? It’s not that I necessarily object to having only one place to vote clear on the other side of town, but going all the way there did not mesh with my plans for the afternoon. Doubtless, many other erstwhile diligent citizens feel the same way about being inconvenienced. Anyway, it’s a little past 3:30 p.m. as I post this, and now I’m going to walk to the other side of town to vote. I’ll do it, but I resent spending half my afternoon just to vote when most of the time it takes me less than three minutes. I know I’ve voted out east before, but I resented it as much then as I do now. No wonder voter participation is down.


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