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Spokane Voters to decide Emergency Service Levy

Rebecca White/SPR
A ballot box in front of the Spokane County Courthouse.

Voters in the city of Spokane have until next Tuesday to weigh in on the renewal of an emergency services levy.

The city of Spokane’s Emergency Medical Services Levy is scheduled to expire this year. Voters will decide whether to continue the tax for six more years.

If approved, the levy will tax property owners 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value until 2028. For a $300,000 home, that’s about $150 dollars a year.

Altogether, the levy will raise about thirteen-point-one million annually for the fire department’s $57 million budget. According to the county voter’s guide, the funds are used to pay for emergency medical response managers and fire companies.

Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton said Spokane residents could have updated their voter information by mail and still participated in this election until this week.

If voters need to change their information, or register, they now must go to the elections office, on the courthouse campus, and update their information in person.

Dalton says voting before election day is also a good idea because it makes the count faster for election workers.

“We really want voters to not procrastinate,” Dalton said.

Dalton says people who use drop boxes should check the county’s website for locations, because some boxes that were located outside city libraries have been moved because of construction.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.