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

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

The beavers weren’t happy, either, about Mill Creek flooding

A tree fell on their dam, sending a rush of water into a neighborhood near Jackson High School.

Stranger offered candy to student walking home from school

The Granite Falls School District is warning families about… Continue reading

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Most Read