City Council Votes to Put Mayor Brown's Community Safety Levy on August Ballot

Erin Hut, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 7:42 a.m.

Updated 05/06/2024

In a 5-2 vote, the Spokane City Council moved to put Mayor Lisa Brown’s Community Safety Levy on the August special election ballot.

Mayor Brown’s proposal seeks funding for necessary resources for Spokane Fire, Spokane Police, the Office of the Police Ombudsman, Spokane Municipal Court, the Office of Emergency Management, and Spokane Parks to maintain existing levels of service while also bringing new resources to the community.

The proposal requests a levy lid lift of $1.00 per thousand in assessed property value, equating to $31.42 per month for the median home in Spokane. If approved, the levy would generate $37.5 million per year over the next five years. Roughly two-thirds of funding would go toward maintaining existing services, with one-third being put toward new city-wide and neighborhood investments.

If passed, money from this levy would fund key community safety initiatives, including the return of Neighborhood Resource Officers, rangers in neighborhood parks, Safe Streets infrastructure, and traffic calming projects in every neighborhood. It would allow the City to reinstate the Fire Academy, expand behavioral health response through the CARES program, and provide fleet and equipment upgrades.

Funding would also go toward new community enhancements like expanding the Office of Emergency Management to allow full capability to staff and operate an Emergency Operations Center, as well as resiliency hubs for safe shelter during extreme weather.

“This levy is not just an investment in services, it is an investment people. From investing in community policing through reinstating the Neighborhood Resource Officer program to Safe Streets projects to planning for future wildfire and emergency events, this levy seeks to ensure safety for everyone in Spokane,” Mayor Brown said.

“My position on the Community Safety Levy is to ensure that the Fire Department has the equipment that they need to keep the community safe and themselves safe as they have strenuous, life-threatening occupations that often get taken for granted and overlooked,” said Council President Betsy Wilkerson.

“We all want investments in our community safety and our neighborhood parks. Waiting until voters decide the Community Safety Levy is the most financially responsible to make sure the City will deliver on these investments,” Councilman Zack Zappone said.

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