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Mayor Brown retreats from massive tax proposal

Just an hour before I held a press conference to call on Spokane Mayor Lisa Brown to abandon her $38.5 million annual tax increase proposal, the mayor put out a statement saying she would be backing off of her plan for the time being.

This is a great day for taxpayers in Spokane. It’s time for the city to go back to the drawing board and listen to seniors and bring in a plan that is fair. The mayor’s proposal couldn’t have come at a worse time for seniors already struggling with a crippling rise in property taxes, so I’m very pleased she’s walking away from her initial idea.

I was joined by Spokane City Councilmember Michael Cathcart, 6th District State Representative Mike Volz, former City Councilmember and president of the Landlord Association of the Inland Northwest Steve Corker, and a cadre of community and business leaders. All of us are committed to helping put the City back in the black but not at the expense of property taxes or deep cuts to public safety. I hope Mayor Brown proceeds with a more collaborative approach that involves all stakeholders at the outset.

Mayor Brown’s proposal would have increased Spokane’s property taxes by a whopping  $1 per $1,000 of assessed value, about $370 annually for the average homeowner. Total property taxes in Spokane County have already increased nearly $270 million in the last six years. Brown’s plan would have generated $38.5 million in new property taxes every year with no sunset date and no specifications about where the money would be spent.

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