Union leaders to oppse "Destiny" tax proposal

Desmoinesdem has previously written about Project Destiny–a tricounty joint venture between Polk, Dallas, and Warren Counties to increase the sales tax in the three communities by one cent–and urged you to vote against the plan.  And now the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, will announce on Thursday that they plan to oppose the sales tax increase as well.

From an advisory put out today:

“Union leadwers say voters should consider that “basic needs” are not being met in the three-county area. A regressive tax to finance so-called “quality of life” efforts such as bicycle trails, they say, should not take precedence over citizens’ fundamental needs.”

With strong labor opposition, who knows how the effort will fare on election day, July 10th.

Discussing and talking about the proposal is no easy subject.  Almost two weeks ago, CityView’s cover story was dedicated to the debate over Project Destiny.  The story offered more insight on the project, its supporters and opponents than the Register or any other local news stations have offered.  I recommend reading the full story to truly understand the debate behind Project Destiny.

The biggest opposition to the tax comes from taxpayers groups and citizens who feel that the sales tax increase is a regressive move that hits the poorest residents in these three counties the hardest.  And they’re right.  The fact is, the fundamentals for citizens in these areas aren’t even being provided and that is something that local government leaders should focus on first and foremost.

While I’m all about lowering property taxes in the area–because we could certainly use the decrease–the problem is that current tax revenue isn’t being spent wisely.  Not to mention that we’re already giving out large property tax breaks to the corporations who would receive the most benefit from the proposal were it to pass and they were to have their property taxes reduced further.  Inherently, the system is complex and difficult, but the focus should be on infrastructure priorities and essentials.

I want more trails, culture, and focus on the arts in the region.  But I can’t write off a disproportionate tax increase on the low-income and poorest people of the community to make our region better.  I just can’t.

For more information on the proposal, check out the supporters’ website and the opponents’ website.

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