City Council Supports Measure 1

During the most recent Deer Park City Council meeting, the council passed a resolution in support of Spokane County Measure 1, which proposes a new 0.2% sales tax on purchases. A portion of the funds would be distributed to Deer Park for law enforcement costs.

The resolution highlights the collaborative effort between the city council and Spokane County to address the pressing challenges arising from the county’s rapid population growth. The Deer Park City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting Spokane County Measure 1, a proposed 0.2% sales tax on purchases. This tax, slated to commence from April 1, 2024, through December 31, 2054, aims to generate funds for crucial criminal justice, public safety, and behavioral health initiatives within Spokane County. 

The new sales tax, which equates to 2/10 of 1% of purchases, exempts the sale or use tax of motor vehicles and the lease of motor vehicles for the initial thirty-six months. Sixty percent of the collected revenue is designated for the Spokane County government, while the remaining 40% is distributed among the cities and towns within the county. The allocation of funds mandates that one-third be explicitly utilized for criminal justice purposes. The remaining two-thirds can be allocated to criminal justice, public safety, or behavioral health initiatives.

Spokane County’s proposal for the utilization of the generated revenue primarily focuses on the expansion and enhancement of the downtown Spokane County Jail facility. With the projected doubling of the county’s population from 1986 to 2053, the proposal includes plans for additional beds, improved booking and reform systems, and enhanced custody and operations, such as inmate training programs and Therapeutic Case Management.

The county’s plan involves the closure of the Geiger Corrections Center, a facility constructed in 1953 that was not intended initially for detention purposes and lacks essential security features. The center’s deteriorating condition necessitates substantial repairs estimated at over $40 million. Moreover, as the center is situated on leased land, its eventual removal is required upon lease termination. To replace the services provided by the Geiger Corrections Center, Spokane County aims to build a new Housing Facility with the capacity to house up to 896 minimum to medium security inmates, along with a new Community Corrections facility capable of accommodating up to 128 minimum security inmates. The design of these facilities prioritizes effective inmate management and rehabilitation, with provisions for various community partner agencies to provide essential services.

Sources:

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