Local perspective on Spokane Proposition 2
Well-known Spokane radio personality Mike Fitzsimmons offered commentary on Proposition 2 that will go before voters in the city of Spokane on February 12th:
Spokane Proposition 2 is a reasonable and necessary defense of your wealth.
I'm Mike Fitzsimmons with commentary on 920 KXLY.
February 12, Spokane voters will be asked to decide whether they want to enact a taxpayer protection policy to keep the Spokane City Council from easily raising taxes on the citizens.
Proposition 2 that will appear on the special municipal ballot will amend the charter, increasing the number of votes on the council needed to raise taxes from four to five ... a majority plus one.
Citizens are fed up with politicians who like to spend other people's money. Washington State voters have several times approved initiatives that require a super majority of the state House and Senate to raise taxes, or in the alternative, to put the tax increase before the people for a vote. Still elected representatives seek ways to circumvent the public will. At the city level, I have long been resentful of how readily the Spokane City Council has raised taxes rather than search for reductions in spending through budget priorities, operating efficiencies and elimination of waste and duplication of services.
The Spokane City Council has the authority to impose property taxes, utility fees, sales taxes, and a business and occupation tax, though one is not now in place. The council also sets business license fees. This supermajority requirement would apply to these revenue enhancement categories.
A supermajority is the best way to do that. This isn't a new idea. The city charter already contains supermajority votes for other purposes. It's time for the voters of Spokane to set some tighter limits on the amount the city council can confiscate through future councilmanic taxation.
With commentary on 920 KXLY, I'm Mike Fitzsimmons.
Washington state voters have repeatedly favored ballot measures requiring supermajority support before raising taxes. On the state level, voters have now enacted or re-affirmed supermajority ballot measures five times — in 1993, 1998, 2007, 2010 and 2012.
Washington Policy Center has advocated supermajority tax reforms as a means for keeping in check government spending. Now voters in the city of Spokane have the opportunity to enact the same meaningful reforms on a local level.
Read our latest op-ed on Proposition 2 from The Spokesman-Review by WPC Eastern Washington director Chris Cargill, Spokane Mayor David Condon and City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin.