The Ottumwa Courier

March 5, 2013

Eldon gets a second chance at LOST

CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier Staff Writer

ELDON — Eldon voters will go to the polls today to decide if they want to renew a long-standing sales tax.

The 1 percent Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) will sunset on Dec. 31 if voters do not renew it during a special election today. The renewal of the sales tax was defeated by just two votes in the November general election.

The small town of nearly 1,000 people would miss out on approximately $93,000 every year starting next year if the sales tax is not renewed, officials have said.

“Just to put it into perspective, if somebody took 26 percent of your salary away from you, what would you have to do to try to compensate for that?” asked Eldon Mayor Shirley Stacey. “[Today’s] special election means between $92,000 and $96,000, or 26 percent, of our budget is at stake. We certainly hope that the citizens know how important this election is to the functions of the city.”

And because every other municipality in Wapello County voted to approve the sales tax in the November election, those Eldon residents who shop elsewhere in the county will have to pay the tax anyway — but the dollars generated from the tax will no longer be seen in Eldon.

“I really think it will pass this time,” Stacey said. “I really thought that the last time, but I think this time the difference is it’s the only thing on the ballot they’re reading. There’s no judges’ names or anything else.”

Special election information

Election Day poll hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today. Eldon’s polling place will be the Eldon Library Hall, 608 W. Elm St.

To vote in a special city election, one must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and a registered voter in the city in which one lives. To register on Election Day, you must show a photo ID that has not expired and contains your name and picture and proof of residence in the precinct where you live.

For more information, contact the auditor’s office at 641-683-0020 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.