Spokane County, City agree to share revenue

More money may be on its way to Spokane.

Pending approval from the City Council, the two governments are going to share revenue from three growing areas – the West Plains, the University District, and Northeast Spokane.

A prime example of the agreement working out for both sides is the Amazon Fulfillment Center being built in the West Plains. While those 1,500 jobs coming into the county are welcomed, what makes the deal even sweeter is splitting that revenue between the County and City.

The new agreement would mean taxes are split equally between both governments regardless of where a business opens.

“It’s really what cities and counties do well – is infrastructure,” said City Council President, Ben Stuckart. “By investing in infrastructure in the University District, northeast Spokane, and West Plains, that’s going to build up economic development, so we can expect more projects like this as we move forward.”

Both the County and City will get 12.5 percent of sales or property taxes, while the Public Development Authority gets 75 percent to reinvest in itself.

Stuckart believes it comes at a perfect time.

“We’re $10,000 below the state average on median household income, and when you look at the causes for homelessness, the number two cause is lack of income and number three cause is lack of affordable housing,” Stuckart said. “So, we need to find good jobs for people, and that’s one of the underlying things we’re trying to do here.”

Stuckart’s opponent in Spokane’s race for mayor, Nadine Woodward, has mentioned in her campaign that she’d like to look outside the city for development.

This falls into that strategy.

“I’ve been talking all along about collaborating with our neighboring partners for economic development as well as a number of other issues; infrastructure, housing, homelessness, so I hope the Council passes [it],” Woodward said.

If it does pass, Woodward believes it sets the perfect foundation for a better economy.

“They can lure businesses that much quicker and attract more of this kind of manufacturing and business because all of the groundwork is already done,” Woodward said. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody.”

The City Council is set to vote on it November 4, but Stuckart said he expects it to pass.