Spokane County receives the majority of their tax revenues from three sources, sales tax, property tax, and excise tax.
Property taxes, also called ad valorem taxes, are one of Spokane County's major revenue streams. Property taxes are levied on real property, such as land and buildings and personal property like machinery and equipment. Some properties may receive a partial exemption meaning that a portion of the property's value is not taxed. Property taxes on specific property are the result of a tax rate applied to the property's assessed value. The assessment is made by the Assessor's office and the tax rate applied (levied) to the assessment is set by the County Board of Commissioners in a resolution of the board. For more information on Property taxes see the Spokane County Assessors' website.
The retail sales tax is Washington's principal tax source. In addition, local retail sales and use tax provide important funding sources for local government programs. State law defines which activities are subject to the retail sales tax. Generally, all sales of tangible personal property to consumers for their own use, are considered retail sales. Retailers collect the combined state and local retail sales tax from their customers. The state retail sales tax rate is 6.5 percent. Local retail sales tax rates range from 0.05 to 2.4 percent. For more information on retail sales tax see the Spokane County Budget and Finance Office website.
Real Estate Excise Tax
Chapter 82.45 of the Revised Code of Washington imposes an excise tax on every sale of real estate in this state, at the rate of one and twenty-eight one-hundredth percent of the selling price. Unless otherwise specifically exempt from tax, all sales of real property are subject to the real estate excise tax. RCW 82.46 authorizes counties, cities, and towns to impose additional taxes on sales of real property based on the same incidences, collection, and reporting methods, as applicable under chapter 82.45 RCW. Taxes imposed are due at the time the sale occurs. For more information on real estate excise tax see the Spokane County Treasure's Office website.