Additional cities consider supermajority requirement to raise taxes

August 19, 2014

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.

Under the proposal, it would take agreement from five of the city’s seven council members – or a simple majority public vote – to approve increasing the financial burden placed on citizens. The legislation would likely be modeled after successful proposals in the cities of Spokane and Yakima, as well as Pierce County.

If ultimately approved by Spokane Valley, the 2nd, 8th and 10th largest cities in the state will have this requirement.

Other cities around the state have also expressed interest in adopting it at the local level. WPC's Enacting Local Supermajority Vote Requirements to Increase Taxes: A Guide for Washington Cities and Counties is an excellent resource for municipal leaders.