Smart Planning and Financing for Schools and Taxpayers
On Tuesday, November 2 voters in Iowa will go to the polls to elect School Board and City Council members across the state. In addition, some communities will include various local measures on the ballot. Here in Des Moines, voters will see a Revenue Purpose Statement for Des Moines Public Schools on the ballot.
The Des Moines School Board has called for a vote on Tuesday, November 2, asking the community to consider approval of an updated Revenue Purpose Statement. If approved, Des Moines Public Schools may continue to spend state sales tax funds to improve our community’s public schools and benefit local taxpayers.
This web page provides additional information about the Revenue Purpose Statement which will be on the ballot next month.
WHAT IS A REVENUE PURPOSE STATEMENT?
A Revenue Purpose Statement is a ballot measure that describes how school districts can spend penny sales tax funds that the State of Iowa has dedicated to public schools. It is a commitment by the school district on how it plans to use sales tax revenue from the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education Fund in order to improve public school buildings while providing relief to property taxpayers.
School districts must put their Revenue Purpose Statements before the voters from time to time for public approval. It is one more important part in being transparent about how the sales tax revenue is being used to the benefit of our public schools and taxpayers.
HOW IT HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE
The school district’s current Revenue Purpose Statement has enabled a number of improvements for our students, staff and community. Some highlights include:
- Placed DMPS as a K-12 national leader in energy efficiency.
- Allowed for the installation of secure entryways at all school buildings.
- Improved heating and cooling systems in all DMPS classrooms.
- Permitted investment in high-quality networking services throughout DMPS.
- Expanded the school district’s security systems to provide for improved safety.
- Provided for the addition of both new and renovated classroom, multipurpose, and student support spaces.
- Expanded opportunities in all areas of extracurricular enrichment.
- Supported good, skilled trades jobs in achieving these accomplishments.
Renewing the Revenue Purpose Statement will enable Des Moines Public Schools to continue these improvements into the future.
HOW IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Revenue Purpose Statement on the ballot outlines a number of current and future needs for which the sales tax revenue will be used. Examples include:
- Property tax relief.
- Acquire or install information technology infrastructure as well as school safety and security infrastructure.
- Improve schools by constructing and furnishing new buildings; building and furnishing additions to existing school buildings; remodeling, reconstructing, repairing, expanding, and improving existing school buildings.
- Respond to demographics that require construction of additional or improvements to school buildings or new school buildings.
- Implement energy conservation measures.
- Establish and maintain public recreation places and playgrounds, provide for supervision and instruction for recreational activities; or support community education purposes.
- Provide funds for the payment of principal and interest or the retirement of general obligation bonds issued for school infrastructure purposes as well as energy improvement loans and sales, service and use tax revenue bonds has authorized under Iowa law.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR TAXPAYERS
Approving the Revenue Purpose Statement will not change or increase the tax rate. Rather, it’s a promise to taxpayers of how the state-wide sales tax will be put to use in our community.
In fact, the Revenue Purpose Statement will also help hold the line on property taxes. The very first priority listed read: “To provide funds for property tax relief.”
Approving the Revenue Purpose Statement allows Des Moines Public Schools to access future SAVE funds without changing the current sales tax rate. The penny sales tax that funds SAVE will be continue to be collected across the state regardless of whether or not this measure is approved. This vote is about how the school district will utilize funds already being collected.
WHY A VOTE IN NOVEMBER?
The current Revenue Purpose Statement for Des Moines Public Schools will expire in 2031. However, if voters approve the new Revenue Purpose Statement it will enable the school district make use of the penny sales tax until it expires under Iowa law in the year 2050.
This will allow the school district to better plan for and meet future needs; help in case the school district has future bonding needs to meet its infrastructure requirements; and potentially save money with longer-term financial planning as well as more flexibility in responding to future cost increases.
WHAT IS ON THE BALLOT
On the November 2 ballot, voters will see this summary of the Revenue Purpose Statement:
To adopt a Revenue Purpose Statement specifying the use of revenues the Des Moines Independent Community School District will receive from the State of Iowa Secure an Advanced Vision for Education Fund.
Followed by 11 ways in which the penny sales tax funds will be put to use by Des Moines Public Schools.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2021 ELECTION
For more information on the Tuesday, November 2 election, please visit any of the following web sites: