Sales Tax Increase Fast Facts

6 Dec 2021

News, Advocacy

The Snohomish County Council is considering a sales tax increase of 0.1% to address homelessness in the county. 

In March 2020, the Legislature passed House Bill 1590, authorizing cities and counties to implement local sales and use tax of up to 0.1% for affordable housing by councilmanic authority. The City of Snohomish joined several cities across the state in implementing their own 0.1% sales tax on November 15, 2021. Jefferson, King, Skagit, Spokane, and Whatcom Counties utilize the 0.1% sales tax increase for affordable housing. The sales tax rate across Snohomish County currently ranges from 7.8-10.5%. 

This ordinance is estimated to bring in $23.2 million per year. It would create 100 units of emergency bridge and permanent supportive housing and 300 affordable housing units in the first five years. The funding would be allocated in the following way: 

  • 82% for acquisition, rehabilitation, construction, operation, and maintenance of newly acquired and created affordable, emergency bridge, and permanent supportive housing 

  • 18% on delivery of services and the creation of a local reserve fund for the construction of behavioral health facilities 

According to proponents of this ordinance, the negative impact of the 0.1% sales tax increase on the individual will be minimal compared to the significant positive impact this ordinance will have for our homeless community and our cities. Opponents say this ordinance needs more public input, additionally sales tax is a regressive form of taxation that disproportionately impacts people with lower incomes. 

Please contact Misha Lujan, Government Relations Manager, with any questions or comments.