Transportation dollars, county by county

East of the Cascades, in the arid, less-populous half of Washington, residents can be heard griping that metropolitan Puget Sound gets all the state money for big transportation projects. In Western Washington, taxpayers might conclude that the reverse is true, that the millions of residents west of the mountains surely must be subsidizing rural corners of the state. Well, they’re both right and both wrong. The fact is, dollar for dollar, there are counties on both sides of the Cascade curtain that get more bang for the buck — or less.

This chart ranks Washington counties based on how much money for transportation was contributed by residents through taxes and fees and how much transportation spending benefited them in return. The basis is state transportation budgets for the fiscal years 2004 through 2012 and includes federal spending, as well.

The only county truly getting its fair share was Kitsap, the residents of which got $1 back for every dollar they contributed.

County Funding contributed for transportation Transportation distributions and expenditures Return per dollar contributed
Garfield $7,821,000 $28,142,000 $3.60
Lincoln $34,879,000 $106,126,000 $3.04
Ferry $25,874,000 $65,309,000 $2.52
Jefferson $234,193,000 $582,572,000 $2.49
Wahkiakum $13,646,000 $30,448,000 $2.23
Columbia $20,051,000 $41,456,000 $2.07
Adams $57,096,000 $115,502,000 $2.02
San Juan $143,598,000 $284,818,000 $1.98
Pend Oreille $42,427,000 $77,957,000 $1.84
Pacific $75,029,000 $136,503,000 $1.82
Skagit $493,555,000 $865,155,000 $1.75
Grays Harbor $243,747,000 $396,940,000 $1.63
Klickitat $70,315,000 $105,634,000 $1.50
Kittitas $262,291,000 $388,344,000 $1.48
Skamania $33,030,000 $42,177,000 $1.28
Douglas $145,948,000 $185,506,000 $1.27
Whitman $128,117,000 $162,432,000 $1.27
Lewis $270,799,000 $341,904,000 $1.26
Walla Walla $227,701,000 $256,145,000 $1.12
Whatcom $609,224,000 $660,135,000 $1.08
Okanogan $130,764,000 $137,789,000 $1.05
Kitsap $1,466,723,000 $1,470,524,000 $1.00
Pierce $2,904,400,000 $2,867,362,000 $0.99
Snohomish $2,542,164,000 $2,450,109,000 $0.96
King $8,349,870,000 $7,958,916,000 $0.95
Chelan $241,719,000 $230,269,000 $0.95
Island $392,134,000 $368,480,000 $0.94
Grant $272,659,000 $254,929,000 $0.93
Thurston $777,128,000 $692,129,000 $0.89
Clark $1,382,071,000 $1,209,749,000 $0.88
Stevens $135,990,000 $118,561,000 $0.87
Cowlitz $340,868,000 $296,477,000 $0.87
Spokane $1,435,200,000 $1,202,563,000 $0.84
Yakima $747,439,000 $569,191,000 $0.76
Benton $532,749,000 $360,457,000 $0.68
Mason $188,557,000 $121,769,000 $0.65
Asotin $73,166,000 $45,821,000 $0.63
Clallam $223,718,000 $139,162,000 $0.62
Franklin $219,926,000 $129,124,000 $0.59
Statewide $25,496,586,000 $25,496,586,000 $1.00

Source: Washington State Department of Transportation

More in Local News

Inslee’s budget solves school funding with help from carbon

His budget would use reserves to boost education, then replenish them with a carbon tax or fee.

Man, 29, injured by shots fired at Everett thrift store

The gunfire followed an argument in the parking lot of Value Village on Evergreen Way.

Police: He made an appointment, then tried to rob the bank

A lawyer is accused of donning a fake beard and telling a teller that a gunman was outside.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

In adult court, four teens plead not guilty to murder

Prosecutors allege they worked together to plan and execute a drug robbery in Everett.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Lives were on the line

After an estimated 350K emergency calls over 35 years, dispatcher Steve Williams is set to retire.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Most Read