City to uphold street levy commitment to low-income seniors

Ordinance would authorize a senior citizen exemption

Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, (509) 625-6505

Monday, February 9, 2015 at 3:29 p.m.

The Spokane City Council tonight will consider an emergency ordinance to authorize a property tax exemption for qualified low-income seniors and disabled individuals that would apply to the City’s recently passed street levy. The exemption would take effect immediately.

“We told our citizens our street levy proposal would buy additional street improvements without increasing tax rates, and we will live up to that commitment with this action,” says Mayor David Condon.

The City’s proposed exemption mirrors one already allowed by state law, but the Washington State Department of Revenue contends that its exemption program doesn’t apply to new street levy as it did to the previous 2004 street bond. Rather than spending public dollars and unnecessary time on a legal action, the City has decided to adopt its own exemption program to apply to the new street levy and similar measures.

“The street levy was one of the most collaborative processes between government and the citizens in the history of our City. The Mayor and I promised our citizens results with no tax rate increase,” says Council President Ben Stuckart. “We have been working with the administration on this proposal because it’s the right thing to do.”

The exemption program applies to seniors or disabled individuals with a household income of $35,000 or less. Citizens can apply for the property exemption through the Spokane County Assessor’s Office. Information is available at