Mason City local option sales and service tax approved by voters | Cerro Gordo County

MASON CITY, Iowa – Voters have overwhelmingly approved the continuation of the local option sales and services (LOSST) tax in Mason City.

Unofficial results from the Cerro Gordo County Auditor’s Office show 1,283 voters cast a ballot Tuesday on the future of the 1% tax.  1,105 vote to continue it and 178 voted to end it.

50% of the revenue generated by the tax will go for property tax relief, 40% for street and park improvements, and 10% will go into Mason City’s general fund.

The County Auditor’s Office says 6.7% of eligible voters cast a ballot on Tuesday.

MASON CITY, Iowa. – The local option sales and service tax special election is September 13.

The local option sales tax has been in effect in Mason City for more than 20 years and Mayor Bill Schickel says he is hopeful it will be renewed. 

Approving the measure would not raise the city’s overall sales tax but maintain it at 7 percent.  50 percent of the local option tax revenue goes to property tax reduction, 40 percent goes to infrastructure improvements, while the other 10 percent goes to programs involving law enforcement, and other  city services.

“It’s  been used for good purposes. And one of the advantages is it is paid for by visits to our community. A good percentage of it, when people come  here and use various facilities it helps pay for them that way,” says Mayor Shickel. 

The city of Mason City says since 2014, just over $52 million has been generated by the local option sales and service tax.

“I think we’ve used it well. It reduces your property taxes, it pays for essential services like police and fire protection, and parks and amenities, and I think people support those things,” the mayor adds. 

If failed, Mayor Shickel says property taxes go up, there would be a reduced police and fire presence in Mason City,  and less upkeep and infrastructure maintenance. 

Polls were open until 8 pm Tuesday.