Voters in five Iowa counties have approved new taxes that will support local emergency medical services.
According to the Iowa EMS Association, about two-thirds of ambulance services in the state are either fully or partially staffed by volunteers and many conduct fund drives to cover expenses. A new state law lets county boards of supervisors put local tax referendums on the ballot to support local ambulance services. Like local bond elections, these referendums must get at least 60 percent approval. Voters in Jones, Kossuth, Pocahontas, Osceola and Winnebago Counties have approved E-M-S referendums that were on the 2022 General Election ballot.
Voters in Calhoun, Floyd and Worth Counties defeated referendums to raise local taxes for ambulance services. Margins in the five counties that passed the referendums were Jones County 71%, Kossuth County over 63%, Osceola County nearly 66%; Pocahontas County 78% and Winnebago County 62%.