(The Center Square) – Washington state’s average combined state and local sales tax rate is the fourth-highest in the nation at 9.4 percent, according to a mid-year report released by the Tax Foundation.
“This report provides a population-weighted average of local sales taxes as of July 1, 2023, to give a sense of the average local rate for each state,” the introduction of the report by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank reads.
As for methodology, the report states, “Sales Tax Clearinghouse publishes quarterly sales tax data at the state, county and city levels by ZIP code. We weight these numbers according to the most recent Census 2021 population figures to give a sense of the prevalence of sales tax rates in a particular state. This is a change from previous editions, where we used figures available every decade. While changes due to the new weighting were mostly trivial, we show changes in rank based on January 1 figures recalculated under the new population weighting. Due to the updated population weighting, this report is not strictly comparable to previously published editions, though differences amount to minor rounding errors.”
The Evergreen State’s retail sales tax is made up of the state rate – 6.5 percent – and the local sales tax rate, which varies depending on the location. The Tax Foundation report, which came out Wednesday, notes the average local tax rate in Washington is nearly 2.9 percent.
There are a total of 186 local tax jurisdictions across Washington, according to the SalesTaxHandbook website, which has a list of all 39 counties in the state and the maximum sales tax rate that occurs within each county.
Snohomish County, situated between northern Puget Sound to the west and the crest line of the North Cascade Range to the east, has the highest combined sales tax rate at 10.6 percent.
Skamania County in the southwestern portion of the state has the lowest combined sales tax rate at 7.7 percent.
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia collect statewide sales taxes, and local sales taxes are collected in 38 states, according to the Tax Foundation report.
Per the report, only three states have a higher combined sales tax rate than Washington: Tennessee (9.548 percent), Louisiana (9.547 percent) and Arkansas (9.44 percent).