PELLA — The city of Pella’s 1% Local Option Sales and Services Tax will be extended for another 20 years.

The city held a special election Tuesday for the community of Pella to vote to extend or end the current LOSST. According to unofficial results from the Marion County Auditor’s Office, 55.96% (1,221) of voters said yes to extend LOSST, while 44% (961) voted no. Approximately 27.76% of registered voters made it to the polls for the special election.

The city’s current 1% LOSST has been collected since 2002, with the LOSST fund estimated at $985,000. LOSST revenue is generated from a 1% sales tax on top of the 6% from the State of Iowa.

The city’s LOSST was set to expire Dec. 31, 2023, if 50% of constituents voted no for its extension. The extension will begin Jan. 1, 2024 and end Dec. 21, 2043.

The city plans to use 50% of LOSST funds towards infrastructure and road improvements. The remaining funds will be used to support “quality of life” projects, which include a new indoor recreation center and renovations to the Pella Community Center. These projects are part of the city’s $45 million long-term facilities plan, for which they plan to use $17 million in LOSST funds toward multiple city projects.

Pella City Council will now wait to hear feedback from an ad-hoc committee appointed by Mayor Don DeWaard earlier this spring on how they should proceed with the new indoor recreation center, located at Pella Sports Park. The project is estimated to cost between $30-50 million, depending on size and private fundraising.

Emily Hawk is the associate editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. She can be reached at ehawk@oskyherald.com.

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