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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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City Council South seat (District 2)

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City votes to amend Kendall Yards deal

Tax subsidies will flow to Kendall Yards even if the developer of the 78-acre project does not seek public bids on construction of streets, sewers and other public infrastructure, as originally agreed. The Spokane City Council on Monday voted 6-1 to amend the tax-increment financing agreement it has with Kendall Yards.The city approved its original tax deal for Kendall Yards in 2007. The developer would be reimbursed for building public infrastructure, such as roads, with tax revenues generated by the property if several conditions were met, including that infrastructure projects be publicly bid.

City officials want to raise water rates

Most of Spokane’s water rates would increase by nearly 8 percent and the base rate paid by each customer would go up nearly 20 percent under a plan the City Council will consider Monday. City administrators say the big increase is needed largely because officials have declined to raise rates in previous years, including last year.

Council debates ombudsman appeal

The Spokane City Council appears headed for a showdown over whether to appeal a decision limiting the powers of the city’s police ombudsman. The mention of a proposed ordinance accepting the decision of an arbitrator and rolling back the investigative powers approved last year showed a sharply divided council Monday afternoon. The hearing on the ordinance is at least two weeks away.

Q&A: Richard Rush, running for Spokane City Council seat representing South Spokane

Richard Rush gives his positions on taxes, libraries, streets and other issues facing the city in The Spokesman-Review’s Spokane City Council candidate questionnaire. Rush, the incumbent, faces Mike Allen in the race for a seat representing South Spokane.

Q&A: Michael Allen, running for Spokane City Council seat representing South Spokane

Michael Allen gives his positions on taxes, libraries, streets and other issues facing the city in The Spokesman-Review’s Spokane City Council candidate questionnaire. Allen, a former city councilman, faces incumbent Richard Rush in the race for a seat representing South Spokane.

Allen will challenge Rush for City Council

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Verner urges council to reject library-only tax

A proposal to ask voters for a library tax appears unlikely to make the ballot after Mayor Mary Verner and her staff urged council members last week to consider a broader property tax that could also boost the police and fire budgets. “We don’t want to be faced with potential closures of branches again next year,” Verner told the City Council. “But we also don’t want to be faced with additional layoffs.”

A boost for books

Hoping to head off a new round of library closure talks or further cuts to branch hours, the Spokane Public Library is asking city leaders to sponsor a property tax boost on the April 26 ballot. The Spokane City Council will decide Feb. 14 if it will ask voters for an extra 15 cents for each $1,000 of taxable property value. If successful, the tax would generate an extra $2.3 million a year.

Property tax hike proposed to fund city libraries

Hoping to head off a new round of library closure talks or further cuts to branch hours, the Spokane Public Library is asking city leaders to sponsor a property tax boost on the April 26 ballot. The Spokane City Council will decide Feb. 14 if it will ask voters for an extra 15 cents for each $1,000 of taxable property value.

Tax for streets overshadows talk of task force

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Waste system reorganization sought

City and county leaders tried this week to buy some time for reorganizing the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System. A committee of member governments voted 5-1 for a stopgap measure to discourage Spokane – which currently controls the system – from potentially undermining a new agreement.

Deputy fire chief cut stirs furor

The Spokane City Council’s decision last week to cut a deputy fire chief position has angered administrators and Mayor Mary Verner. “It was not discussed with me. It was not discussed with the chief. It was completely unexpected,” Verner said. “What has been created here is an impossibility for getting the job done.”

City vehicle tab tax in limbo

The Spokane City Council is balking on plans to impose a new $20 tax on vehicles this year, and in a surprise move shifted money away from road plowing and repairs to be spent instead rewarding departments whose labor unions made requested wage and benefit concessions. The council voted in October to give itself the authority to create the local tab tax, but it has since deferred a decision.

City of Spokane weighs development taxes

Potential taxes on new development approved two years ago would finally be collected under a proposal being considered by the Spokane City Council. The taxes are one-time “impact fees” paid by developers of homes, businesses and other projects that are expected to generate additional traffic demands on city services. The fees would have to be paid before building permits could be issued.

Vestal: Worth of a library weighed

The kids at Southeast Day Care Center likely aren’t very tuned in to the economic woes threatening their next-door neighbor, the East Side Library. But they were sure tuned in Thursday to “How Do Dinosaurs Say Good-Night?” And today they’ll make the short walk across the parking lot for their weekly trip to the library. Every Friday – unless the Library Board closes the branch.