The Spokane Transit Authority board today decided to ask voters to approve a 0.3% increase in the local sales tax to fund an electric trolley line and other service additions. Such an increase would take the sales tax rate in most of the Spokane area to 9.0% - one of the highest figures in the state.
The City of Spokane Valley is the latest local government to consider a supermajority requirement to raise taxes – a WPC recommendation.
The two-thirds requirement is not unfamiliar to voters in the area; they have overwhelmingly approved it five times at the state level and watched as neighbors in the City of Spokane adopted the requirement last year.
More than 2,000 people attend Washington Policy Center’s Annual Dinner each year and those attending east of the Cascades will now enjoy an even more spectacular evening.
WPC, the state’s leading independent research organization, announced plans today to hold two separate Annual Dinner events beginning this year – one in Eastern Washington and one in Western Washington. Both dinners will feature live, prominent national speakers.
The president of the Spokane City Council Ben Stuckart has joined the list of politicians who have apparently flipped positions on supermajority vote requirements.
A year ago, he strongly opposed Washington Policy Center’s recommendation that Spokane taxpayers have the benefit of a supermajority requirement to raise taxes at the local level. It’s an idea WPC has long supported at both the state and local level.
When Spokane voters this year passed Proposition 2 – requiring a two-thirds vote of the city council or voter approval in order to raise taxes – opponents said the higher standard would make it impossible for to raise the revenue needed to run the city. At the time, Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart said it would “kill government.” A local left-wing newspaper columnist said it would
WPC is saddened to report the passing of one of our most active supporters, Eastern Washington Advisory Board Member John Bennett. John was the President of NAI Black in Spokane and joined the Eastern Washington Board after attending our 2010 Annual Dinner.
John was 57. He will always hold a special place in our hearts at WPC, as John was a tireless advocate for our organization and supported our effort to bring a supermajority requirement for tax increases to the city of Spokane.
Voters in Spokane won't be seeing two controversial city initiatives on their November ballots.
Spokane Superior Court Judge Maryanne Moreno has ruled the two initiatives were outside the scope of city powers. The ballot measures--pushed by a range of special interest groups—sought to, among other things, amend Spokane’s City Charter to grant inalienable legal rights to the Spokane River’s water and sediment.
In today’s Spokesman-Review in Spokane, liberal columnist Shawn Vestal attacked Washington Policy Center for its recent analysis on Spokane’s Public Safety costs.
Our analysis, released last month and available here, gives citizens an opportunity to review how Spokane’s public safety spending compares to other cities of similar size (Mobile, AL, Stockton, CA and Fort Wayne, IN), and to other Northwest cities (Boise & Portland).
On a hot summer day what could sound better than a state of the art indoor/outdoor aquatic center and water park to cool off in? How about one that doesn’t require permanent and ongoing taxpayer subsidies, even under the best case financial projections, to stay afloat.
When city of Spokane and Pierce County voters recently approved a supermajority requirement to raise local taxes, supporters contended one of the main reasons was to prevent local tax increases that would be promoted by state officials.
Proposition 2 may be a controversial idea to the politicians and special interest groups who want to increase taxes, but it is not a controversial idea to the people of the Spokane area. We have approved the state-level requirement five times already.
Voters have a long history of strongly supporting a higher threshold to increase the financial burden public officials can place on citizens. Perhaps that is why opponents of Proposition 2 are so angry.