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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane City Council approves property 1% tax boost

Nov. 14, 2022 Updated Mon., Nov. 14, 2022 at 8:47 p.m.

On Nov. 14, Spokane City Council voted 5-2 to increase property taxes 1% in 2023, which Mayor Nadine Woodward vetoed on Nov. 18.  (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review)
On Nov. 14, Spokane City Council voted 5-2 to increase property taxes 1% in 2023, which Mayor Nadine Woodward vetoed on Nov. 18. (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review)
By Emry Dinman The Spokesman-Review The Spokesman-Review

Spokane will raise its property taxes again next year.

The City Council on Monday voted 5-2 to increase next year’s property tax levy by 1% from the year prior, adding nearly $650,000 to the city’s 2023 budget, which is anticipated to be well over $1 billion.

Spread out among the city’s property owners, the boost will cost a few dollars for most. Property taxes for a $400,000 home, for instance, are projected to cost about $9 more next year as a result of Monday’s vote, according to Spokane Chief Financial Officer Tonya Wallace.

Washington law allows local governments to collect 1% more through their regular property taxes every year without requiring a vote of the people. For instance, if Spokane had taken $100 in 2022 through its regular property tax, it could take $101 in 2023.

The council’s decision only changes the city’s portion of local property tax bills, a relatively smaller portion of overall tax obligations. For many property taxpayers, the largest portion of their property taxes goes to schools.

While many local governments routinely take the 1% rate hike each year, some decline to take it, saving money for taxpayers at the cost of the government’s budget.

Spokane Valley’s elected officials in October declined to raise property taxes for the 14th year in a row, arguing that taxes shouldn’t be raised during an economic downturn.

Spokane City Council members Jonathan Bingle and Michael Cathcart voted against the increase, citing similar concerns.

“There is no bigger issue, other than crime, affecting people than the cost of living,” Cathcart said. “I think it is absolutely reprehensible that we would make a decision that would increase the cost of living on people that we serve and represent.”

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