About The Measure
Proposition 2 would amend the Spokane City Charter to increase the threshold in City Council votes needed to increase taxes to five of seven votes, up from four.
The Spokane City Council must approve tax increases with supermajority votes.
Spokane voters easily approved a City Charter amendment giving the police ombudsman more authority and a tax to ensure that branch libraries won’t close.
Of the three items Spokane voters will consider Tuesday, one has clearly sparked the most heated debate. Campaign groups have formed on each side of Proposition 2. Signs are up around the city and rhetoric is high.
Spokane’s Feb. 12 special election has spawned three official campaign organizations, along with campaign reporting violations. It wasn’t until mid-December when the Spokane City Council decided to hold the Feb. 12 special election. That left a relatively short period to raise money and design strategies in support or opposition of the three propositions voters will decide on.
Spokane’s Proposition 2 is a way to ensure strong consensus on important issues or a strategy for a minority to seize control from the majority. That’s the debate among Spokane officials about the proposed requirement that tax increases earn at least five of seven votes on the City Council for approval instead of four.
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.
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.