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.
A weekly Spokane newspaper apparently thinks taxpayers should just be quiet and let politicians raise taxes as much as they like.
The editor of The Inlander recently wrote an editorial slamming the very idea of Spokane's Proposition 2. The measure would require a two-thirds vote of Spokane’s City Council in order to raise taxes. It’s an important policy change that will require elected officials to work together in an era of increased partisanship.
Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, and Spokane City Councilwoman Amber Waldref wrote an Opinion-Editorial piece in this weekend’s Spokesman-Review regarding Proposition 2 – the supermajority requirement to raise taxes in Spokane.
We are pleased the Spokesman-Review has also asked Washington Policy Center to write on the same issue. That piece, co-authored by Spokane Mayor David Condon and Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, will be appearing in the newspaper this coming weekend.
The Spokane City Council will decide December 17th whether to follow Pierce County’s lead and place a supermajority requirement to raise taxes before voters.
The charter change would require any new or increased taxes get a majority plus one vote - or five votes total - on the city council to pass. Currently four “yes” votes are needed for the council to increases taxes on Spokane residents.
It’s always good news when projects come in under-budget – especially when they are taxpayer-funded.
In Spokane, the Spokane School District says it’s on track for bond-funded projects to come in $47.9 million below budget. That’s an enormous savings and the school district should be congratulated for making it happen. And taxpayers should be pleased.
The question now becomes what to do with that extra money? Spokane voters approved a $288 million bond in 2009 with the understanding that it would go toward specific projects.
When Spokane Mayor David Condon ran for office last year, he promised he would approach city government differently than his predecessors. If his first budget proposal is any indication, he plans on following through on that promise.
In 2012, the City of Spokane will spend $164.5 million in its General Fund budget. The mayor says the 2013 budget will not exceed that number. Even though it is dealing with a $10 million shortfall, the mayor did not use any money from reserves to make that happen. The mayor is also forgoing an annual increase in property taxes.