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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

If you leave a hole open, they will tax it…

Good evening, Netizens...


I read Jonathan Brunt's piece this morning titled “City Council raises hotel tax to back PFD” and nearly had a cow. Supporters of the expansion of the Spokane Convention Center and Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena promised the taxpayers there would be no new taxes raised or created to support the $65 million expansion project. Since when did I start believing any utterance muttered by City Hall?


The minute we received the dandy political ad extolling the virtue of raising the sales and lodging taxes to pay for these expansion projects, and despite the emphasis this ad placed on “no new taxes”, I assumed the position, bent over the kitchen table, and as it turns out, the promise was a big whopper, as my saintly grandmother used to say.


The tax, fortunately, is paid for by the tourists, itinerants and salespeople who stay in hotels and motels in Spokane and will pay the indebtedness of the Public Facilities District out of their room rates. Could you imagine the hue and cry that would be raised if that tax were paid by the citizens of Spokane?


Of course we must take into consideration all the wonderful things the Public Facilities District has done in its historied past, the Spokane Convention Center and Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena aside. Maybe by the time these projects are completed and allowing for the inevitable cost overruns, we will truly know whether the expansion as planned will be all empire-building with no real fruition.


Of course, your opinion of the Public Facilities District and their “invisible” taxation may differ from my own.



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.