A big reliance on sales tax

While our public servants in Olympia talk past each other, it’s good to remember whose money they are arguing about and where it comes from.

Washington is somewhat of an outlier when it comes to tax revenue. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it is one of only seven states with no individual income tax, and it’s one of only four with no corporate income tax. One result is that sales taxes accounted for 57.7 percent of Washington tax revenue in 2012. That’s down somewhat from 60.7 percent in 2008.

Washington tax revenue detail

Source 2009 2010 2011 2012
Sales taxes $9,417,864,000 $8,972,868,000 $9,335,206,000 $9,327,885,000
Retail sales $6,903,654,000 $6,448,090,000 $6,654,104,000 $6,755,380,000
Motor fuels $1,181,459,000 $1,238,592,000 $1,207,447,000 $1,176,823,000
Use $465,418,000 $428,576,000 $539,911,000 $486,305,000
Cigarette $392,429,000 $388,032,000 $432,823,000 $424,815,000
Liquor liter $125,116,000 $123,000,000 $125,256,000 $133,250,000
Liquor sales $96,592,000 $100,301,000 $102,158,000 $108,465,000
Beer excise $32,415,000 $36,840,000 $80,603,000 $79,641,000
Tobacco products $30,278,000 $33,372,000 $46,392,000 $46,569,000
Solid waste collection $32,480,000 $33,258,000 $33,585,000 $34,281,000
Brokered natural gas $46,730,000 $37,725,000 $29,011,000 $23,800,000
Rental car $22,768,000 $21,489,000 $23,044,000 $23,672,000
Wine excise $21,736,000 $22,531,000 $22,970,000 $23,400,000
Shared tribal cigarette taxes $5,614,000 $6,297,000 $7,956,000 $7,624,000
Replacement vehicle tire fee $3,602,000 $3,632,000 $3,809,000 $3,638,000
Wood stove fee $320,000 $324,000 $258,000 $222,000
Convention Center $57,253,000 $50,809,000 $25,879,000 $0
Gross receipts taxes $3,455,486,000 $3,367,581,000 $3,838,406,000 $3,948,632,000
Business and occupation $2,650,526,000 $2,577,618,000 $3,014,373,000 $3,130,753,000
Insurance premiums $408,464,000 $405,918,000 $413,097,000 $430,052,000
Public utility $386,101,000 $373,621,000 $400,380,000 $377,245,000
Litter $8,848,000 $9,075,000 $9,360,000 $9,434,000
Pari-mutuel $1,547,000 $1,349,000 $1,196,000 $1,148,000
Property and excise taxes $1,875,219,000 $1,903,610,000 $1,941,600,000 $1,986,530,000
State property tax levy $1,785,323,000 $1,822,667,000 $1,857,334,000 $1,898,427,000
PUD privilege $42,175,000 $39,123,000 $39,710,000 $44,815,000
Leasehold excise $25,613,000 $25,849,000 $26,622,000 $27,077,000
Watercraft / aircraft excises $17,478,000 $12,869,000 $13,909,000 $12,719,000
Timber excise $4,630,000 $3,102,000 $4,025,000 $3,492,000
Other state taxes $856,944,000 $878,862,000 $898,269,000 $895,458,000
Real estate excise $426,048,000 $411,871,000 $379,748,000 $422,360,000
Hazardous substance $127,055,000 $149,417,000 $175,500,000 $197,604,000
Estate $137,116,000 $78,717,000 $112,928,000 $114,828,000
Penalties and interest $111,157,000 $137,225,000 $151,294,000 $113,481,000
Enhanced 911 (state) $20,192,000 $20,222,000 $21,158,000 $23,850,000
Telephone lines $9,542,000 $9,104,000 $10,818,000 $8,024,000
Intermediate care facilities $9,931,000 $9,531,000 $8,842,000 $7,858,000
Oil spill $4,966,000 $3,731,000 $3,828,000 $3,571,000
Carbonated beverage syrup $8,365,000 $8,553,000 $16,041,000 $2,855,000
Fish $1,963,000 $2,418,000 $3,193,000 $810,000
Petroleum products $609,000 $48,073,000 $2,680,000 $217,000
Carbonated beverage (bottled) $12,239,000 $0
All state taxes $15,605,513,000 $15,122,921,000 $16,013,481,000 $16,158,505,000

Sources: Washington State Department Of Revenue and Office of Financial Management

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