Council Votes to Remove Community Safety Levy for Ballot

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 12:35 p.m.

On Wednesday morning, Spokane City Council received a request from the Mayor’s office to remove the Community Safety Levy from the August 2024 special election ballot. During a Special Legislative Meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2024, Council formally deliberated and voted unanimously to request Spokane County Auditor to remove the Community Safety Levy from the August ballot.

The levy called for a levy lid lift of $1.00 per thousand in assessed property value, resulting in approximately $31.42 per month per household for a total of $37.5 million per year for the next five years.

 “The topic of a new property tax has been unsettled due to lack of information that, as a Council, we wanted,” said Council President Betsy Wilkerson.  “Since the April vote, we’ve been listening to the voices of the community and additional conversation with my fellow Council Members, moving to remove this measure from the August ballot is a smart decision.  We simply need more input and more information.”

During the April 29 Legislative Session, Council passed Resolution 2020-0044 in a vote of 5-2, requesting the Spokane County Auditor to hold a special election on August 6, 2024, to submit to the electors of the City of Spokane a ballot measure considering the property tax levy.  The council has sought community feedback and engaged in extensive conversation since the approval of the resolution.

“Everyone should feel safe and be safe in their communities,” said Council Member Paul Dillon, a co-sponsor of the resolution. “Our city growth has outpaced services and funding, so it is imperative we are thoughtful and deliberative on how we move forward to bring stakeholders together to respond to increased public safety needs. This extension will help us do just that as we work to shape a better future for Spokane.”

The commitment to thoroughness led to the request for additional information, which resulted in the Mayor’s request for the City Council to rescind Resolution 2024-0044, withdraw its request from the Spokane County Auditor for placement on the August ballot, and proposed extending the timeline for community engagement and additional analysis.

“I am grateful to Mayor Brown for listening to the concerns of our constituents who cannot bear the burden of this significant and forever tax,” said Council Member Michael Cathcart, also a co-sponsor of the resolution.  “Since my election in 2019, I have been calling on the city to tighten its belt.  As Finance Chair, I look forward to rolling up our sleeves and transparently crafting the necessary detailed priority-based budget.”

About the Spokane City Council
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