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Wednesday, January 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Spokane Valley named a top city nationwide for residents with $60,000 annual income

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 21, 2019

A shift in the make up of the Spokane Valley City Council is expected to lead to changes at City Hall, shown on April 3. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
A shift in the make up of the Spokane Valley City Council is expected to lead to changes at City Hall, shown on April 3. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Valley was named one of the best cities nationwide in which to live for residents with an annual income of $60,000, according a recent study published by SmartAsset.

The New York-based personal finance technology company analyzed U.S Census Bureau data for 109 cities with median household incomes from $55,000 to $65,000, looking specifically at metrics related to employment, income, median housing costs, unemployment rates, average commute time and number of entertainment and civic establishments, among other things.

Spokane Valley ranked 15th among SmartAsset’s list of top 25 cities in the country for affordability. Appleton, Wisconsin topped the list of affordable cities, and Billings ranked second. Bend, Oregon, ranked just below Spokane Valley at 16th and Boise was at No. 18.

The study found that a family earning $60,000 should be able to comfortably afford housing costs in cities where the median household income is between $55,000 and $65,000. Median housing costs make up less than 24% of a $60,000 income in the 109 cities included in the study, according to SmartAsset.

Spokane Valley has a median income of $55,445 with just more than 20% of housing costs as a percentage of income, a 3.1% unemployment rate and a 20-minute average commute time to work, according to SmartAsset.

“I think it demonstrates that the Valley is a desirable place to live and work with low unemployment, low commute times and affordability,” Jeff Kleingartner, spokesman for Spokane Valley, said of the city’s ranking in the study. “There’s something for everybody here.”

Kleingartner said a variety of factors have contributed to Spokane Valley’s nationwide recognition as an affordable, desireable city in which to live, including its proximity to Spokane, housing prices, recreational opportunities and infrastructure improvements to the northeast industrial area to lure new businesses.

The city passed a planned action ordinance earlier this year to speed up the permitting process for businesses relocating to the northeast industrial area, which consists of more than 563 acres of industrial zoned, undeveloped land.

California-based Katerra opened a $150 million manufacturing plant in September in the industrial area to manufacture engineered-wood products.

Progress Rail, a Alabama-based subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., is planning to build a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility with 115,000 square feet of storage and a new short line rail spur off Union Pacific Railroad’s main line in the northeast industrial area.

In addition, The Spokesman-Review’s print publishing operations will move into a building owned by Centennial Real Estate Investment on the 19200 block of East Euclid Avenue.

Centennial Properties is a subsidiary of the Cowles Co., which publishes The Spokesman-Review.

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