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.

Tremendous loss for WPC in Eastern Washington

October 17, 2013 in Blog

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.

Judge strikes controversial initiatives from Spokane ballot

August 30, 2013 in Blog

By Mary Catherine McAleer



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. 

Washington Policy Center loves facts, loathes inaccurate commentary

August 21, 2013 in Blog

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).

Will proposed Tri-City aquatic center soak taxpayers?

July 15, 2013 in Blog

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. 

Unfortunately, the proposal voters are being asked to consider on August 6 would do just that. Kennewick, Pasco and Richland will decide whether to authorize a sales tax increase of 0.1% to build and operate the new water facility.

Do you eat 18 pounds of fish a month? Yes, state bureaucrats insist

July 15, 2013 in Blog

The Washington state Department of Ecology is once-again on the fast track to adopting new fish consumption rates (FCR). And they’re getting an assist from Governor Jay Inslee.

The FCR is the amount of fish the state assumes you eat for the purposes of new regulations and further bureaucratic control. The higher the number, the more stringent the rules.

Yakima voters will have chance to approve WPC recommendation - the two-thirds requirement for tax increases

July 9, 2013 in Blog

This November, voters in Yakima will decide whether to adopt a reasonable taxpayer protection policy at the local level.

Supporters of a ballot measure to require a two-thirds vote of the Yakima City Council for tax increases have submitted the required amount of signatures to place the issue before voters.

State Supreme Court on Two-Thirds for Taxes: Do it like Pierce County, Spokane

March 1, 2013 in Blog

The Washington State Supreme Court on Thursday validated the actions of voters in Pierce County and the city of Spokane, who have recently adopted two-thirds requirements for tax increases locally.

The Tax Sharks Begin To Circle, and Spokane and Pierce County Voters Saw It Coming

February 27, 2013 in Blog

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.

Voters in Spokane want meaningful tax limitation

February 1, 2013 in Blog

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.