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Seniors can’t afford Lisa Brown's tax hikes

After hearing Spokane Mayor Lisa Brown call for massive property tax increases just months into her new position, I had a message for her: Seniors can’t afford it.

It's not surprising that Lisa Brown wants to increase taxes. What is surprising is that the tax increase is so massive and permanent. Even the most hardened tax-and-spenders must have gasped when they saw the particulars: $38 million in new property taxes every year, forever, to be used for whatever the mayor wants, without limits or guardrails.

Brown has been promoting her plan to increase Spokane property taxes by $1 per $1,000 of assessed value, which will be $370 annually for the average homeowner. Total property taxes in Spokane County have increased nearly $270 million in the last six years.

As Treasurer of Spokane County, I don’t set property tax rates or assess home value, but I do hear every day from seniors on fixed incomes struggling to stay in their homes due to property tax increases. None of the money in Lisa Brown’s property tax proposal would go to schools, but can be spent on anything the mayor wants. It’s a lazy approach to fixing structural problems in the city’s operational budget.

I'd like to see Brown adopt a collaborative approach with other local governments to address crime and homelessness, because a giant property tax increase to pump more money into a broken system isn’t a real solution.

It's part of the big spenders playbook to try to sneak tax increases in during odd elections…in February, or April or August when most people aren't voting. But I think that's going to backfire on the mayor this year. Taxpayers are going to turn out in droves for the Congressional primary and I'm urging everyone, no matter who they're supporting for Congress, to vote no on this huge tax increase.

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