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

For the 15th year in a row, Spokane Valley opts against 1% property tax increase

Spokane Valley City Hall is seen on May 11, 2022.  (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Valley’s longtime anti-taxation streak will continue for at least another year.

In a 5-2 vote Tuesday, the Spokane Valley City Council voted against raising property taxes by 1%, with council members Arne Woodard and Tim Hattenburg casting the nay votes.

The decision to forego a property tax increase came after the City Council voted to adopt a $106 million budget for 2024.

Spokane Valley is an outlier among local governments when it comes to property taxes. The Spokane City Council and the Spokane County Commission typically collect an additional 1% in property tax revenue every year, as allowed by state law.

On a year-to-year basis, 1% property tax increases don’t cause much financial hardship for homeowners. By abstaining from a tax increase, the City Council is saving the typical Valley homeowner less than $5 in 2024.

Taking the 1% would have brought Spokane Valley an additional $135,000 in revenue. Spokane Valley expects to collect $13.8 million in property taxes in 2024.

City Council members who oppose taking the 1% have often said $135,000 is a pittance, and the Valley doesn’t need that additional revenue. They’ve also said that taxpayers are struggling financially and shouldn’t have to deal with a tax increase, however small.

Woodard has argued that not taking the 1% hurts the Valley’s chances of winning state and federal grant dollars and could negatively affect the city’s bond rating.

Hattenburg has said he wanted to take the 1%, because that $135,000 could have paid the salary of an additional police officer.