VOTERS ASKED TO RENEW TAX MEASURES County Libraries, Emergency Services Funding among Initiatives on the Ballot

By Sokol, Chad; Hill, Kip | The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), March 30, 2017 | Go to article overview

VOTERS ASKED TO RENEW TAX MEASURES County Libraries, Emergency Services Funding among Initiatives on the Ballot


Sokol, Chad, Hill, Kip, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)


CORRECTIONS (3/31/2017)

CITY LIBRARIES SEEK LEVY

The city of Spokane is seeking voter approval of a tax renewal for six libraries. Due to a copy editor's error, a headline on Thursday's Northwest cover incorrectly attributed the levy to the county.

Voters throughout Spokane County will be asked next month to renew tax measures funding libraries and emergency services.

Spokane city residents will be asked to extend a property tax levy at a rate of 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to fund services at the city's six library branches. If voters approve the measure, the current tax rate will be extended through 2024, enabling the library system to expand its offering of classes in the community and maintain extended service hours, said Andrew Chanse, executive director of Spokane Public Libraries.

"Really, for the community, it's about being able to access our resources," Chanse said. As a result of the 66 percent approval of the property tax levy in 2013, the library has been able to nearly double the hours at its Indian Trail, East Side and Hillyard branches. With a funding extension, the organization would be able to open up the South Hill branch on Sundays, a service that was made available as part of a pilot program in Shadle Park following passage of the levy.

The library receives about 11 percent of its funding from the property tax levy, with the rest coming out of funds set aside each year in the city budget.

If voters reject the extension, it will expire at the end of this year.

Spokane County Fire District 3 also is asking voters to approve a "levy lid lift" that would raise a property tax rate from $1.40 to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The higher rate would be in place for one year. The money would be used to replace aging trucks and equipment, and cover standard operational costs.

Voters approved an identical measure in 2008 and the tax rate has since dropped. …

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