South Sioux City Proposed Sales Tax Ballot: Joint Press Release

published August 6, 2018

The South Sioux City City Council, South Sioux City Board of Education, South Sioux Area Chamber of Commerce and the Dakota County Board of Commissioners are proposing a half-cent local sales and use tax to help fund critical public education and public safety needs.  Our success requires the entire community's support for continued educational growth and maintenance of public safety. South Sioux City residents will have the opportunity to vote on a local sales and use tax referendum. If voters approve the referendum, the local sales and use tax would increase by one-half percent, from 7% to 7.5%. This will create a 10 year revenue stream that will help retire the South Sioux City Fire Hall debt and continue to develop workforce and career education.

How would the one-half percent increase affect my actual spending?

A one-half percent (0.50%) increase would represent a change in regular spending. Sales tax charged on a $100 purchase would increase by $0.50. The following examples demonstrate the effect on various spending levels:

  • Sales tax charged on a $1 purchase would increase by one-half of a penny ($0.0050)
  • Sales tax charged on a $10 purchase would increase by 5 cents ($0.050)
  • Sales tax charged on a $100 purchase would increase by 50 cents ($0.50)
  • Sales tax charged on a $1,000 purchase would increase by $5.00

Which items are included and exempt from the sales tax?

The sales tax will apply to purchases on items like clothing, household supplies, and electronics, as well as prepared food and drinks (restaurant or store). However, numerous items are exempt from the sales tax, including prescription medication, gasoline, certain agricultural supplies, and motor vehicles.

Why does the South Sioux Area Chamber support this proposal?

The chamber continuously supports public safety in our schools, our county and our community. The chamber supports training for high wage, high demand and highly skilled jobs to help fill our existing workforce needs.  

What would the funds generated by the local sales and use tax actually support?

The Board of Education and the City Council have resolved to direct all revenue generated by the proposed local sales tax increase toward public safety, infrastructure and the critical educational needs facing our community.  One such area would be workforce development and training. If passed, the city will provide the county approximately 12% of the sales tax monies to support public safety without increasing property taxes.

How much funding would the local sales and use tax generate?

Recent estimates suggest that the one-half percent local sales tax would generate approximately $850,000 each year. The proposed adjustment affects the sales tax rate, not property taxes, visitors to our county would help fund local educational facility and public safety needs every time they make a purchase in South Sioux City. The school district and the county would each receive 12% of the annual revenue (estimated $85,000-$110,000) for 10 years.  

Will this sales tax eliminate the need for future school funding needs?

The tax will help sustain and replace needed equipment and career/workforce development in our current school district facilities and curriculum.  Major facility improvements and construction are still needed in the near future to address safety, overcrowding and career/workforce concerns with existing facilities. A community engagement campaign will begin shortly to determine next steps and we welcome your individual involvement in this process. A new career education facility may be a possible result of this planning.