In 1988 the Legislature decided the schools needed more money, so each County was given the option of voting for an additional one percent sales tax that was to be used for school infrastructure. Originally this school add-on was known as the School Infrastructure Local Option (SILO) sales tax. In 2008 that extra one percent was combined with the original five percent. In the beginning the SILO tax was given to the school districts were the SILO tax was collected. Dickinson County faired very well under that program. Some counties complained they were not receiving their fair share, so the name was changed to Secure An Advanced Vision For Education (SAVE). And the distribution formula was changed to distribute the SAVE revenue evenly among all school districts based on the number of students. The most recent annual distribution was $960 per student. This school infrastructure sales tax is set to expire in 2029. The Legislature is considering extending that date to 2050.
In the late 1990’s each County and City was given an option to vote for an additional one percent sales tax that became known as the Local Option Sales Tax LOST). Dickinson County and most cities voted for that also. That money is distributed to the City or County where it is collected. For Fiscal Year 2018 Dickinson County has estimated $1.3M in Local Option Sales Tax that will be allocated 75% to the Rural Fund and 25% to the General Fund. In most of Iowa you are paying a seven percent sales tax that includes a one percent Local Option and one percent School Infrastructure sales tax.
Note: Iowa school funding is a very complex set of formulas and annual appropriations that are beyond the scope of this article.