Mayor Brown Proposes "One-Tenth of 1 Percent for Community Safety"

Erin Hut, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Monday, July 8, 2024 at 11:03 a.m.

Mayor Lisa Brown announced Monday her proposal to place a Community Safety Sales Tax on the November ballot.  

The proposed sales tax, set at one-tenth of one percent, is expected to generate an estimated $7.7 million annually. Fifteen percent of these funds will go to Spokane County. The roughly $6.5 million collected each year by the City of Spokane will be dedicated to community safety enhancements, including:  

  • Spokane Fire: Replacing outdated vehicles and equipment, making improvements to fire stations, and potentially building new stations. 
  • Spokane Police: Re-launching the Neighborhood Resource Officer program and standing up a traffic safety unit.  
  • Community Resilience: Developing and implementing critical safety plans and expanding the City’s capacity to serve the community in cases of extreme weather.  

This proposal is expected to cost the average Spokane homeowner about $1 per every $1,000 they spend, with several necessities like food and prescription drugs exempted.  

Mayor Brown’s proposal is being put forward to voters as she simultaneously directs the City to make significant expenditure cuts. This new approach addresses the structural budget the Brown Administration inherited through reductions and efficiencies, while also making key safety investments.  

“After carefully considering the community’s feedback, my administration recognized that our initial levy proposal placed too much of a financial burden on our residents. While we are still facing a severe budget deficit, this approach gets us back on track while making the safety investments our community wants and needs,” Mayor Brown said.  

“As the City of Spokane puts this sales tax proposal forward, we are also making significant cuts to our expenses to ensure we are using resources efficiently. While this means it will take a bit longer to stabilize our budget, we believe this is a balanced approach that exemplifies our commitment to both fiscal responsibility and community safety,” said Chief Financial Officer Matt Boston.