Will lose control over LOST with no sunset date

To the editor:

On Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, I saw samples of the official ballots for city elections in Jefferson County that included Fairfield Public Measure A to authorize the imposition and extension of the local option sales and service tax (LOST).

This 1 percent tax was originally set up with a sunset clause to last no longer than 10 years, then voted again every 10 years to renew this source of income. This also gives the voters some control over this source.

After reading this measure on the ballot, I noticed that there was no sunset or expiration date on this measure. This concerned me, so I called city hall. They had no information and told me to call the mayor.

I called Mayor Ed Malloy and expressed my concern about the wording. Mr. Malloy was very vague about the measure, but said he would check on it and call me back. He called me back Nov. 1.

I also called my council member. The council member was also very vague and would call me. I received a call the next morning, and was assured that the sunset clause would be in effect. When questioned further, the council member became less than cordial. I then thanked the member and concluded the call.

Still not satisfied, I then called the commissioner of elections for the state of Iowa in Des Moines. The attorney for the office read the public measure and told me that, as written, it effectively eliminates the sunset clause and/or expiration date.

I am truly disappointed for two reasons. One, the mayor and the city councilor, though vague with me, knew exactly what was written on the sample ballot, and two, I feel my council member was less than credible.

Unless we vote no on Nov. 7, 2017, we will lose all control over the LOST tax. This measure needs to be reintroduced with a sunset clause of 10 years to be voted on again so the voters still have some control over it.


? Dave Ward, Fairfield