November 17, 1995 in Nation/World

Absentees Back Jail Taxes Proposed Increase Would Raise $12 Million Over Next Three Years

Jim Camden And William Miller S Staff writer
 

Spokane shoppers probably will shell out a little extra sales tax starting New Year’s Day to pay for new juvenile detention and adult jail facilities.

The proposed tax increase, which would raise an estimated $12 million over the next three years for jails and related programs, moved strongly into the “yes” column Thursday in a count of absentee votes from the Nov. 7 election.

“It’s great news,” said Rand Young, who manages the county juvenile detention center.

Young said the maximum-security lockup urgently needs additional space to house violent youths. Employees have been crossing their fingers in hopes that the tax measure would pass.

“Nobody here is talking about it,” he said, “because we’ve been through this before.”

Since November 1992, voters have shot down three bond issues seeking to expand the 65-bed detention facility.

Proponents raised money and campaigned in those elections. Ironically, this time around there was no effort to drum up support for the sales tax measure and no organized opposition.

The proposed tax hike of 1/10th of 1 percent was trailing slightly on election night. But Thursday’s count of some 4,600 absentee ballots reversed that trend.

The proposal has a 654-vote lead out of 92,656 ballots cast. That’s a comfortable but not completely safe margin with as many as 4,500 more absentee ballots to be counted.

Most ballots counted Thursday were from precincts within the city of Spokane. Most ballots that remain to be counted are from non-city voters.

On election night, the ballots from outside the city limits broke slightly against the proposal. But the current margin means the remaining absentee ballots would have to split almost 2-to-1 against the proposal for it to be defeated.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: LATEST COUNT

Spokane City Council Position 2 Four year term Votes Pct. Orville L. Barnes 20,466 50.24% John J. Talbott 20,269 49.76%

Proposition 2 Juvenile facility Votes Pct. Yes 46,655 50.35% No 46,001 49.35%

This sidebar appeared with the story: LATEST COUNT

Spokane City Council Position 2 Four year term Votes Pct. Orville L. Barnes 20,466 50.24% John J. Talbott 20,269 49.76%

Proposition 2 Juvenile facility Votes Pct. Yes 46,655 50.35% No 46,001 49.35%


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