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Tax and Population Data

This page contains data on city and county populations, assessed valuations, property tax levies, sales tax distributions, and sales tax components/rates in Washington State, compiled from information provided by the state Department of Revenue (DOR), Office of Financial Management (OFM), and Office of the State Treasurer (OST).


Overview

Cities and counties often look to other jurisdictions for comparison purposes. The information presented here is intended to provide high-level comparative data and can be used for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to salary/compensation studies, collective bargaining negotiations, and revenue comparisons (such as seeing which jurisdictions have implemented which types of taxes and at what rates).

Some of the spreadsheets also show trends over time within individual jurisdictions, which can be analyzed to show changes in tax rates, revenues, population, and/or assessed value.

Please note: There is rarely an "apples to apples" comparison between jurisdictions. For instance, some cities provide their own fire and library services. Other cities are annexed to fire districts and/or library districts, which shifts some taxing authority from the city to the fire/library district. This can result in a significantly lower levy rate for the city, even though the total tax burden on property owners might be similar.

Likewise, some jurisdictions have imposed emergency medical services (EMS) levies, while many others are precluded from doing so due to EMS levies imposed by other taxing jurisdictions (such as fire districts, EMS districts, counties, and public hospital districts).

Some cities and counties have rapidly increasing property values, which can result in steadily decreasing levy rates due to the 1% levy limit (unless the jurisdiction submits a levy lid lift to voters), while other jurisdictions have relatively stable or even decreasing property values.


Population, Property Tax, and Sales Tax Distribution Data

The spreadsheets below are updated several times per year as new data is provided by DOR, OFM, and OST. These files include the following information on a calendar year basis:

  • Population estimates – for counties, includes both unincorporated and total population.
  • Locally assessed values – for counties, includes both countywide (current expense) and unincorporated (road fund) assessed valuation.
  • Levy amounts and rates – you can filter this data by "levy type" to get information on different levies including current expense/general fund levies, EMS levies (RCW 84.52.069), road levy diversions, conservation futures levies (RCW 84.34.230), affordable housing levies (RCW 84.52.105), excess O&M levies (RCW 84.52.052), and G.O. bond excess levies (RCW 84.52.056).
  • Sales tax distributions for regular (also known as the "basic" or "first half") and optional ("second half") sales taxes – note that this only addresses unrestricted (general fund) sales tax revenues (dollar amounts) under RCW 82.14.030(1) and (2) and does not include additional restricted sales taxes that the jurisdiction may have imposed. However, we do provide the local sales tax percentage rates for each jurisdiction in the Local Sales Tax Rates & Components section below.

For more details on the various property tax levies and other local revenue options, refer to MRSC's City Revenue Guide and County Revenue Guide.


Local Sales Tax Rates & Components

Below is a current breakdown of the sales tax rates and components for each city, town, and county in Washington. This includes the 6.5% state sales tax rate, as well as the many voted and non-voted sales taxes applied by cities, counties, public facilities districts, and transit districts.

Sales tax rates may only be changed three times per year: on January 1, April 1, and July 1 (RCW 82.14.055). Sales tax rates no longer change on October 1.

For more details on these various local sales tax options, see our page Sales and Use Taxes in Washington State or refer to MRSC's City Revenue Guide and County Revenue Guide.


Tax Reliance Map for Cities

Some cities rely more heavily on sales taxes, while others rely more on property taxes. See MRSC's tax reliance map to explore how your city's sales and property tax revenues compare to other jurisdictions across the state.


Recommended Resources


Last Modified: July 09, 2020