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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spangle, Rockford make annual public safety tax requests to voters

Rockford leaders are asking voters on the November 2023 ballot for a one-year tax to cover the cost of the town's fire service.  (Town of Rockford, Washington)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Residents in the southern Spokane County towns of Rockford and Spangle will face their annual task on the November ballot of considering approving levies to fund police and fire services .

Though the dollars collected in each levy are small, the money is crucial to paying for services in small towns where the annual general fund budget is small itself. The annual levies are typically overwhelmingly approved, and the amount has remained stable for years. The money being requested is the same amount that voters approved in 2016.

Rockford Proposition

No. 1

This one-year fire protection levy would replace an expiring one that helps fund the town’s fire department. In 2024, it would collect an estimated 51 cents per $1,000 in assessed home value to collect $32,892.

The town council determined that the “accelerated demands for, and increasing costs of, providing services” necessitate the levy measure. The funding could be used to improve capital facilities, firefighter safety and maintenance, and operations of the department.

Spangle Proposition No. 1

The one-year fire protection levy also would replace an expiring one that pays for the town’s fire coverage from Spokane County Fire District 3. The 2024 rate would be $1.50 per $1,000 in assessed home value to collect a total of $23,000 for the year.

The town’s general fund budget is “inadequate” to pay for fire protection services without the levy, according to an ordinance approved by the town council.

Spangle Proposition No. 2

Spangle’s second annual levy, designated for police protection, pays for the town’s contract with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement coverage. It also replaces an expiring levy. The one-year levy would collect an estimated $1.19 per $1,000 in assessed home value in 2024 to raise $17,000.

Once again, the town council determined that the town’s general fund is “inadequate” to pay for the cost, and that the funds “must come from a source other than the general fund.”

Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by Nov. 7. Ballots can also be dropped off without postage at official elections drop boxes before 8 p.m. on Nov. 7.