Treasurer Baumgartner Releases 2022 Year in Review Report Highlighting Stable Tax Collections, Strong Investment Returns, and Public Policy Advocacy
Spokane County, WA – The Spokane County Treasurer’s Office released its annual Year in Review for 2022 today. Highlights for the year include a stable property tax collection rate of over 98%, investment income of $17.7 million on the pooled funds of local governments, and several initiatives to provide better service and assistance to taxpayers.
The annual Year in Review includes overviews of the three major functions of the Treasurer’s Office: to collect, safeguard, and invest public funds on behalf of Spokane County and over eighty regional government entities. In 2022 the Treasurer’s Office was responsible for billing and collecting $767 million, oversaw approximately $20 billion in public financial transactions, and invested $1.6 billion of public funds.
“This Year in Review report is part of my effort to increase public awareness and understanding of the Treasurer’s Office,” said Michael Baumgartner, Treasurer of Spokane County. “Throughout the year we serve as a financial hub for the County, collecting taxes, dispersing those tax dollars out to local government entities, and managing an investment fund of public monies.”
This fund, the Spokane Public Investment Fund (SPIF), consists of the pooled monies of regional public participants. During 2022, $17.7 million of investment income was distributed to these local public entities.
“Our investment income supports local public services without raising taxes or fees,” said Treasurer Baumgartner. Rising interest rates over the past year has produced an increase in income for the fund, and the Treasurer’s Office projects earnings of $38 million in 2023 as investing maturities continue to be re-invested at higher rates.
The report also highlights the successful Local Direct Investment (LDI) program run by the Treasurer’s Office. The program provides financing for local government projects at competitive rates that produce savings for taxpayers. In 2022, LDI financing enabled Spokane County Fire District #10 to purchase a new firefighting vehicle. Over $19 million has been invested locally through this program under Treasurer Baumgartner.
The report describes additional efforts made by the Treasurer’s Office to make paying taxes more convenient, and government more accessible to the public. Treasurer Baumgartner hosted several Town Halls to discuss issues with concerned taxpayers, and the office operated a remote property tax collection service at Spokane Valley City Hall – providing an option for in-person tax payment that offers greater convenience than visiting the County Courthouse for many taxpayers.
The full report is available by clicking here.