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

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Jim Mathis, the Vietnam veteran whose Marysville garden was recently featured in The Herald, died Wednesday. Mathis, who suffered from PTSD and cancer, found solace in his beautiful garden. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Vietnam veteran Jim Mathis found peace in his garden

The Marysville man who served two tours died Wednesday after suffering from cancer and PTSD.

Smith Island habitat restoration cost to rise $1.2 million

The project is intended to increase survival rates for juvenile chinook salmon.

Add deputies and bump taxes a bit, executive proposes

Dave Somers’ Snohomish County budget proposal also would address traffic problems in neighborhoods.

County councilman proposes banning safe injection sites

Nate Nehring says county officials also should find “credible, long-term solutions to addiction.”

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

They chose the longshot candidate to fill a vacant seat

Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick will serve as representative for the 39th legislative district.

Ivory dealer gets prison after aiding smuggler’s prosecution

Man was charged in 2013 with smuggling and violating the Lacey Act.

Wildfires delay efforts to return fishers to North Cascades

Wildfires over the summer scorched B.C. forests and damaged the fishers’ habitat.

Most Read