It took just six hours to draft a mandatory $24 million cost on Spokane business owners and workers?

June 5, 2015 in Blog

They held only three meetings totaling just six hours, but it appears a work group tasked with creating a mandatory paid sick leave policy to impose on employers and workers in Spokane is ready to forward its policy plan to the City Council.

Spokane voters reject trolley plan, but transit options remain

April 30, 2015 in Blog

After months of public debate and extensive research, voters on Tuesday rejected a nearly $300 million plan to preserve and expand public transit in the Spokane area and build an electric trolley system in downtown Spokane. But that does not mean public transit can’t be improved and made more efficient. 

Spokane City Council may mandate paid sick leave on every business

April 23, 2015 in Blog

The Spokane City Council voted this week to establish a “work group” on mandatory paid sick leave. The goal of the group will be to eventually lead the city council toward adopting a mandatory paid sick leave policy for the city.

Shawn Vestal: There he goes again

April 16, 2015 in Blog

Liberal columnist Shawn Vestal of the Spokesman-Review doesn’t like Washington Policy Center providing the public with information about the Spokane trolley proposal, which is being presented to voters as part of Proposition 1 on the April 28th ballot. Spokane Transit Authority (STA) officials call the trolley the “centerpiece” of their plan.

Response to Spokane Transit challenge of WPC research

April 8, 2015 in Blog

The following is a response to a Spokane Transit Authority Memo requesting WPC make "corrections" to a recent study on STA's Electric Trolley proposal. WPC's full, 17-page Policy Brief - an Overview of Spokane's Electric Trolley Proposal - can be found here. All sources in the study are provided in the footnotes. The WPC research staff has reviewed each of the points of dispute and provides this additional detail.

Inlander guest columnist gets it wrong on WPC

April 6, 2015 in Blog

In his column The Ties That Bind, published in The Inlander on April 1st, guest commentator Paul Dillon laments the growing opposition to Spokane Transit Authority’s Proposition 1 by attacking Washington Policy Center.  Mr. Dillon’s statement about Washington Policy Center is wrong in a number of ways.

Transit campaign in Spokane says $300 million tax increase would help... Sound Transit?

April 3, 2015 in Blog

Spokane Transit officials want to increase taxes on Spokane-area families to fund their proposed "Moving Forward" plan, which includes a $72 million electric trolley project. Spokane-area voters will consider the ballot measure on April 28th.

In the effort to convince voters to say "yes," it appears even the "Yes For Buses" transit campaign is confused about what exactly their measure would do.

Why is $72 million electric trolley suddenly missing from transit campaign in Spokane?

March 6, 2015 in Blog

Spokane Transit officials want voters to provide them with $300 million in new revenue via a major sales tax increase in a proposed ballot measure this April. The proposal is part of STA’s “Moving Forward” package. If passed, the sales tax would increase from 8.7% to 9% for most purchases, a rate that approaches the sales tax officials charge in Seattle. 

Should state drivers have to fund Spokane's electric trolley?

February 13, 2015 in Blog

If transit executives and some legislators get their way, Washington drivers could be paying for an electric folly.

Spokane Transit officials want voters in April to approve a major sales tax hike to fund their electric trolley and other service additions. The tax hike would take the sales tax in Spokane Transit’s service areas (most of the populous portions of Spokane County) to 9.0% - one of the highest figures in the state.

Spokane Transit to ask voters to increase sales tax to 9.0% for electric trolley

December 18, 2014 in Blog

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.

Additional cities consider supermajority requirement to raise taxes

August 19, 2014 in Blog

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.

Celebrating Five Years in Eastern Washington, WPC Expands Northwest's Largest Gala Event

February 27, 2014 in Blog

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.

Those opposed to supermajority requirements, now propose their own

January 6, 2014 in Blog

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.

Local Two-Thirds Tax Limitation Working as Voters Intended

November 22, 2013 in Blog

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

Yakima voters approve WPC recommendation on tax limitation policy

November 6, 2013 in Blog

Yakima has become the second city, and third local government in Washington, to require a higher threshold to increase taxes.

Proposition 1 — a Washington Policy Center recommendation — was approved by nearly 70% of citizens on Tuesday. WPC research showed it was a reasonable taxpayer protection policy.