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Posted on: March 11, 2021

Area Cities Join in Opposing Spokane City Council’s Imposition of Utility Tax on SCRWRF

Spokane County has reaffirmed its opposition to the Spokane City Council’s consideration to impose a Utility Tax upon the County owned and operated Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation facility. Spokane County has initiated a Common Interest Agreement to ask the Cities of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, and Millwood to join the County in formally opposing the Spokane City Council’s Utility Tax proposal.

As the County noted in its October 20, 2020 letter to City Council President, Breean Beggs, Commissioners unanimously agree that it is inappropriate to balance the City of Spokane’s funding desires by imposing this tax upon the vast majority of County residents who live outside of the City of Spokane. 

Only 24 residents of the City of Spokane are customers of the County’s wastewater utility, yet the City Council seeks to impose this tax upon all County sewer customers, including 30,009 in the City of Spokane Valley, 944 in the City of Liberty Lake, 900 in the City of Millwood, and 15,594 in unincorporated County, all of whom lack a voice at the City of Spokane’s government level.

Chair of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, Josh Kerns, stated, “We are pleased to have these regional municipalities join our effort to oppose this blatant attempt by the Spokane City Council to fund projects important to them on the backs of those outside of their jurisdiction,” 

Spokane County Commissioner Mary Kuney, stated, “We will use all means possible to stop the imposition of this tax upon our citizens who have not been given a voice in the process.” 

Spokane County Commissioner Al French, added, “It’s also important to note that the City Council is not only seeking a 20 percent tax on gross revenues, but they are also attempting to impose four years of back taxes. This is wildly inappropriate, and we will not stand idly by and watch this happen to our constituents.”  

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