• Sat April 07 2007
  • Posted Apr 7, 2007
By JASON PULLIAM REGISTER STAFF WRITER Proponents of a new local-option sales tax Tuesday continued their bid to convince more Des Moines metro-area voters to say "Yes to Destiny." The South Des Moines Chamber of Commerce sponsored the latest in a series of public information sessions on the proposed 10-year, one-cent local-option sales tax initiative for Dallas, Polk and Warren counties. Roughly one dozen people turned out for the hour-long breakfast forum in the AIB College of Business Activities Center, 2500 Fleur Drive. Destiny advocates tout the plan as a way to reduce property taxes and pay for a host of regional "quality of life" projects such as expanded recreational trails. "We could be the trail capital of the world," Greater Des Moines Partnership CEO Martha Willits said during the forum. "We have many miles (of trails) but they're not connected." Destiny backers want to expand and connect segments of the 460-mile Central Iowa Trail Network. The group projects the sales tax would generate roughly $75 million during its first year, which would be allocated as follows: - Mandatory $24.75 million for property tax reduction. - Additional $24.75 million to tax relief. - $25.5 million to improve cultural and recreational venues throughout the tri-county area. Critics contend replacing one tax with another doesn't make sense. Project Destiny supporters are in the midst of a petition drive to enable them to hold a special election July 10. The group tabled its original plan to hold a referendum in November 2006, citing a "cloud of mistrust due to the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium investigation." Visit for more information on Project Destiny.

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