The city of Spokane may ask voters to approve a $5.8 million increase in property taxes to pay 30 firefighters and hire 20 new police officers in a special election in February.
If voters approve the measure, which City Council members may put on the ballot during their next meeting, property owners would pay 30 cents more for every $1,000 of assessed value, or about $60 a year for a $200,000 home. It would bring in an additional $5.8 million annually, which would be divided among police, fire, crime reduction programs and legal services.
Altogether, property taxes would increase to $3.60 per $1,000 of assessed value, according to the city proposal.
City Council President Ben Stuckart said the need for more police officers to investigate and respond to the growing number of crimes in Spokane is the most significant issue he hears from constituents. He cited a study completed last year that found the Spokane Police Department needed 44 more officers.