SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – Spokane County remains steadfast in its opposition to the Spokane City Council’s request to impose its utility tax upon the County owned Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation facility, which only serves 24 city of Spokane residents and principally serves the citizens of the neighboring communities of Spokane Valley, Millwood, Liberty Lake, and unincorporated Spokane County all of whom lack a voice at the City of Spokane’s government level. These cities, along with Senator Mike Padden, take issue with the Spokane City Council’s attempt to force constituents outside of the city of Spokane to pay a tax.
Spokane County and the cities of Spokane Valley, Millwood, and Liberty Lake are working with Senator Mike Padden, the sponsor of Senate Bill 5621. This legislation would prohibit a city from imposing a utility tax on a county wastewater treatment facility for services provided outside of the City’s municipal boundary.
Senate Bill 5621 is currently scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Housing and Local Government Committee on Wednesday, January 12 at 10:30 am.
Spokane County is urging citizens to learn more about this legislation to prevent taxation without representation and to provide comments to legislators before the hearing. If citizens are interested in following SB 5621 and providing comments to legislators before the hearing, please visit this link (https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5621&Year=2021&Initiative=False)
From that website there are links to get notifications and comment on this bill.
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.