Where do taxes go? What you’re paying and what it covers

There’s a tax for just about everything.

Of course, there are the two big ones many of us pay: property and sales taxes.

We also pay a special tax to buy a wood stove. Stay in a hotel. Rent a car.

There are businesses taxes for some seafood sold commercially and businesses that contribute to litter — such as newspapers.

We don’t pay a state income tax — yet.

Now legislators might tax candy, bottled water and cosmetic surgery, too. They also could boost the cigarette tax by $1 a pack and raise sales tax.

Lawmakers want our money because the state is in a world of hurt.

State leaders have cut and cut and cut the budget.

They’re still $2.8 billion short.

The Washington state Department of Revenue provides a complete list of state taxes online along with rates, if you’re curious.

We’ve compiled the most recent rates for sales and property taxes in Snohomish County. There’s also a breakdown of where every penny of your sales and property taxes go, if you live in Everett.

Property taxes within cities sometimes vary if, for instance, a city has two school districts within its boundaries.

Here’s how the property and sales tax rates stack up among local cities. For property taxes, the amount is what’s charged per $1,000 of assessed value, rounded to the nearest penny. Property tax rates vary in most cities. What is shown is the predominant rate. Unincorporated Snohomish County’s rate is averaged. Sales tax numbers are effective from April 1 to June 30, 2010. Combined sales tax includes the 6.5% state rate, the local rate, and Regional Transit Authority (RTA) rate.
City Property tax Sales tax
Arlington $9.54 8.60%
Bothell $8.92 9.50%
Brier $8.42 9.50%
Darrington $10.76 8.60%
Edmonds $8.76 9.50%
Everett $10.34 9.20%
Gold Bar $9.80 8.60%
Granite Falls $11.08 8.60%
Index $7.53 8.60%
Lake Stevens $11.11 8.60%
Lynnwood $8.78 9.50%
Marysville $10.55 8.60%
Mill Creek $9.70 9.50%
Monroe $10.54 8.60%
Mountlake Terrace $8.66 9.50%
Mukilteo $8.46 9.50%
Snohomish $10.47 8.60%
Stanwood $8.05 8.60%
Sultan $9.80 8.60%
Woodway $8.38 9.50%
Unincorporated $10.20 8.60%
Sources: county assessor, Dept. of Revenue

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