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Seven people stood outside the Hillyard Library as they waited for its doors to open at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Several more were waiting in their cars. The wait to get into the Hillyard Library and Spokane’s two other neighborhood branches could be much shorter under a proposed tax voters will consider on the Feb. 12 ballot.
Spokane voters will have a lot to consider on their February ballot, including a proposal to require supermajority votes by the City Council to raise taxes and some fees. Other measures headed for a special February election include: • A property tax increase for the Spokane Public Library to prevent branch closures and increase open hours. City taxes would increase by 7 cents for each $1,000 of property value – $7 for the owner of a $100,000 property.
There could be something for almost everyone on a special election ballot in February. Originally wary of spending the money to hold a special election, the Spokane City Council on Monday appears ready to send three items to the ballot for voters to consider. The council last week set aside $200,000 to hold the election.
It could soon get harder for Spokane city leaders to raise taxes. The Spokane City Council on Monday will consider whether to ask voters if raising tax rates should require approval of at least five of the city’s seven council members.
Spokane voters in February may get a chance to save the city’s small library branches and substantially increase branch hours. Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart is proposing that voters be asked for a property tax boost for libraries on the Feb. 12 ballot.
City officials have a new strategy to achieve independent police oversight after multiple failed attempts: Let the voters decide. Spokane City Council members Steve Salvatori and Mike Allen want to ask voters in February to approve a city charter amendment creating a police ombudsman position with the ability to investigate alleged police abuse separately from the Police Department’s internal affairs division. The plan also would create a citizen board that would oversee the ombudsman.