City, county and airport officials plan to create a public development authority that would pool property tax revenue to accelerate construction on the West Plains.
It’s a way for Spokane County and the city of Spokane to share resources for a common goal, said County Commissioner Al French, whose district includes the West Plains.
French said the public development authority, or PDA, would combine city and county property taxes on some projects and use that money to administer programs and work with private developers. The two jurisdictions would benefit equally, he said.
“It really does treat us as equal partners,” he said. “This is what taxpayers expect the government to do: work together on behalf of the taxpayers.”
The city of Spokane already has two PDAs to oversee development around the North Spokane Corridor and the University District. The West Plains PDA would be the first to involve both the city and county.
It would also involve the Spokane International Airport, which oversees development on its own land but has no authority or influence over surrounding properties. The airport is jointly owned by the city and county.
French said the PDA board will probably have seven members, each appointed by the city, county or airport. He said the details should be worked out by this summer.
On Friday morning, in the annual State of the County address, French repeated his sales pitch for the West Plains. It’s a boon for manufacturers, he said, because it offers three major modes of transportation: rail, road and air.
“What’s on the plate for the West Plains is exciting,” he told a crowded ballroom in the Spokane Convention Center.
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