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

Former jail guards sentenced in dehydration death of inmate

During a mental health crisis in 2015, Keaton Farris, 25, wasted away in the Island County Jail.

‘We don’t know why he left’: Teen has been missing for 2 years

Interest in the case of Tyler Christensen, of the Edmonds area, has recently surged on the internet.

Talks to begin on emergency radio system contract

Motorola Solutions Inc. has been chosen to build a replacement for the current 911 radio system.

Traffic circles going in on Second Street in Marysville

The work follows complaints from residents about people driving too fast down the street.

Swift Bus and van collide in Everett, injuring 2

Their injuries were described as minor.

Two-day event will offer free medical and dental services

The Amen Everett Free Clinic is expected to serve 400 to 500 patients Friday and Sunday.

Video: Police seek 2 after fight at restaurant drive-thru

Security cameras at Memo’s in Everett caught one of the suspects aiming a gun at the other.

County Council grills Sound Transit CEO about long timeline

West Seattle and Ballard light-rail extensions will be completed before the main spine to Everett.

Girl who was raped as she died had drugs in her system

The official cause of death was announced as accidental by the medical examiner’s office.

Most Read