home home About us home Statistics & reports home 2010 home 2010 Tax Reference Tax Reference Manual 2010
Cindi L. Holmstrom, Director

Mark Craig, Assistant Director
Compiled and edited by Don Taylor

January 2010  Entire Document



Overview Of The Washington Tax System

State and Local Government Revenues
State Government Revenues and Expenditures
Net Washington State Tax Collections
Limits on State Expenditures and Tax Increases
Tax Comparisons With Other States
Impact of the Recession on Tax Revenues

Washington's Tax History

Early Tax History
The Depression and the Revenue Act of 1935
Subsequent Major Tax Changes
Local Government Finance
Environmental Taxes
Rate Changes for Selected Major Taxes


GENERAL SALES TAXES - Taxes imposed on the purchase or use of a wide variety of items and selected services which are paid by consumers

Retail sales tax (state)
Use tax (state)
Local retail sales/use taxes

SELECTIVE SALES TAXES - Taxes imposed on the purchase of specific items which are either paid by or shifted forward to consumers

Cigarette tax
Tobacco products tax
Liquor sales tax
Liquor liter tax
Wine tax
Beer tax
Motor vehicle fuel tax
Special fuel tax
Aircraft fuel tax
State convention center taxes
Local hotel/motel tax (state-shared)
Special local hotel/motel taxes
Solid waste collection tax
Wood stove fee
Brokered natural gas use tax
Rental car taxes
Telephone taxes
Replacement vehicle tire tax

GENERAL BUSINESS TAXES - Taxes imposed on most business activities for the privilege of engaging in business

Business and occupation tax
Municipal business taxes

SELECTIVE BUSINESS TAXES - Taxes imposed on specific business activities, usually for the privilege of engaging in business, even though the burden may be shifted forward to consumers

Public utility tax
Insurance premiums tax
Food fish/shellfish tax
Hazardous substance tax
Soft drinks syrup tax
Petroleum products tax
Oil spill tax
Litter tax
Parimutuel tax
Intermediate care facilities (ICF) tax
Local gambling taxes

PROPERTY TAXES - Taxes imposed annually on real and personal property which are measured by the value of the property

Property Taxes

EXCISES IN LIEU OF PROPERTY TAX - Taxes imposed on specified types of real or tangible personal property in lieu of assessment and taxation under the property tax

Motor vehicle excise tax
Aircraft excise tax
Watercraft excise tax
Timber excise tax
PUD privilege tax
Leasehold excise tax

PAYROLL TAXES - Compulsory payments by employers which fund compensation programs for employees

Unemployment compensation tax
Industrial insurance premiums

OTHER TAXES - A variety of other state and local tax sources

Real estate excise taxes
Estate and transfer tax
Local admissions taxes
Local household tax
Local taxes on parking
Local taxes on employees