Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Judge Upholds Spokane City Street Levy Tax Exemption

A Spokane County Superior Court Judge today upheld a City of Spokane ordinance that authorized a property tax exemption for low-income seniors and disabled individuals.  The ordinance applies to the City’s new street levy, approved by voters in November.

The Spokane City Council adopted the exemption ordinance in February, mirroring one already allowed by state law. The City adopted its own exemption program to apply to the street levy because the City was told that the state’s program didn’t apply to the new levy as it did to the previous 2004 Street Bond. 

The Spokane County Assessor’s Office argued that the exemption was not authorized to implement it because of opposition by the Washington State Department of Revenue.  The issue ended up in court, following the City’s attempts to resolve the issue administratively.

City staff will now work with the Assessor’s Office to determine how to correct the approximately 4,700 incorrect property tax bills.

The tax exemption applies to seniors or disabled individuals with a household income of $35,000 or less. Citizens can apply for the property exemption through the Spokane County Assessor’s Office. Information is available at

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.