Polk County Water &
Land Legacy Bond Referendum
Why the Association endorsed the referendum
In 2012, voters in Polk County passed a $50.0 million Polk County “Water and Land Legacy Bond” referendum with a 72% approval. Specific areas targeted were water quality, trails, land acquisition, and park improvements. Now, nearly 10 years later, related projects have been identified and Polk County voters are being asked to approve a second $65 million “Water and Land Legacy Bond” on the November 2nd ballot.
It is the opinion of the Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa that:
- The projects, as currently envisioned, are worthy, but taxpayers have an obligation to help shape specific future projects.
- Funding the projects through General Obligation bonds appears to be a reasonable, if not the only option.
- If the November 2 referendum is passed, an additional $11.20 per year will be added to the current tax bill of the average Polk County homeowner, resulting in a total annual cost of $24.49 for both the 2012 and proposed 2021 proposed projects.
- The Taxpayers Association strongly advocates that future annual property tax levy rates for debt are reduced to the extent actual tax valuation growth exceeds the 3% annual growth rate assumption utilized in the County’s projections, thus mitigating the cost impact on Polk County taxpayers.
- For purposes of transparency and accountability, the Association strongly encourages the County to complete one referendum before initiating (and combining it with) another.
- A full, annually audited accounting of the funds and projects has been provided for the 2012 projects and has been pledged for the new projects.
Index of relevant documents:
- The Associations Endorsement
- Referendum Language & Overview
- Related Polk County Website
- Proposed Distribution of Funds
- “Focus Projects”
- Water Trails Impact Study
- Impact of Bonds on Property Taxes
- 2013 Bond Account Detail
- Debt Service Schedules 09-22-21
- Alternative levy rate scenarios
- Debt Service of 2013 and 2021 Bonds – Q&A
- Polk County Conservation Nature News
- Promotional Website of “Vote Yes”