The Spokane Board of REALTORS® voted unanimously to endorse the Spokane County Law and Justice Measure One that will appear on the November ballot.
With Spokane experience an enormous increase in property crimes over the last years, members felt this measure was a positive step towards making Spokane a more livable place to be.
“This measure is about more than just updating our ageing jail system,” said Spokane REALTOR® President Tom Hormel. “It will provide key diversion resources such as mental health and counseling support, along with more dollars for more police and prosecutors.
If passed, Measure One would add a 2-cent sales tax to every $10 purchase.
“We know how crime can have a dramatic impact on neighborhoods,” said Governmental Affairs Chair Eric Johnson. “We heard the county’s presentation and were surprised at much of a criminal justice reform this will offer.”
According to State law, the funds can only be used for criminal justice, public safety, correctional infrastructure, and behavioral health purposes. In speaking to the GA committee, Spokane County Commissioner Al French said “Our jail was built in the 70’s and updated in the early 80’s when Spokane County had 355,000 people. Today, we served over 550,000.”
As a result, Commissioners say current corrections facilities are overcrowded and outdated. Civil and criminal courts are congested. Local law enforcement agencies are understaffed. While our region is also experiencing rising rates of mental health and substance use disorders, resulting in the community’s need for more treatment options and services. Essentially upgrading the entire justice system including judges, prosecutors, staff and public defenders.
“We need to let our members know what the impact of Measure One can be,” said Hormel.