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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Fire district wants to raise levy

Voters living within the boundaries of Spokane County Fire District 3 have a weighty decision to make Tuesday – to lift, or not to lift, the district’s levy.

Vote “yes” for Proposition 1, said District 3 Fire Chief Bruce Holloway, and homeowners will be asked to pay an additional 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, which amounts to $18 a year for a $150,000 house.

Vote “no” on the resolution, Holloway said, and it will impact the district’s capital improvements and maintenance programs.

The proposition is not a tax increase; rather, it would restore the maximum levy amount of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The $1.50 sum is the lowest in the county.

Fire District 3’s levy rate has fallen to $1.38 because property values on the sprawling West Plains have grown faster than the amount of taxation allowed. Holloway said the current rate makes it difficult for the district to keep up with the rate of inflation, let alone make capital improvements.

If voters pass the resolution, about $100,000 would be added to District 3’s $1 million budget, Holloway said.

There are between 12,000 and 15,000 people in District 3, located in the southwest part of the county. Its 550-plus square miles make it the largest fire district in the county.

Proposition 1 is on the Sept. 20 primary ballot. It needs a simple majority for approval.

The Cheney mayoral primary race, in which Mayor Amy Jo Sooy is being challenged by three candidates, also will appear on the ballot. The top two vote-getters in that race will move on to the general election.

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