home home Find taxes & rates home Other taxes home Regional transit authority (RTA) tax Regional transit authority (RTA) tax

What are the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) sales taxes?

RTA sales taxes are voter-approved taxes that affect most major metropolitan areas of Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties. The RTA sales taxes make up part of the sales taxes paid by consumers on purchases made within the RTA boundaries.

How do I pay RTA sales and use taxes?

Businesses report RTA retail sales taxes collected from consumers to the Department of Revenue on the excise tax return. Businesses report RTA use taxes on the excise tax return when Washington sales tax was not previously paid on a taxable item and the business puts the item to first use within the RTA boundaries.

What rate do I pay for RTA sales taxes?

Effective April 1, 2017, the RTA sales and use tax rate increases to 1.4 percent. The sales and use tax rate for RTA areas is 0.9 percent through March 31, 2017.

The RTA rental car sales tax rate for RTA areas is 0.8 percent.

What is the RTA motor vehicle excise tax and who administers it?

In addition to the RTA sales taxes, there is an RTA motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) imposed with new or renewed vehicle registrations. Effective March 1, 2017, voters approved an RTA MVET increase to a total rate of 1.1 percent.

The RTA MVET is calculated and consumers pay the RTA MVET when licensing a vehicle with the Washington Department of Licensing. Contact the Department of Licensing with questions about the RTA MVET, such as types of vehicles subject to the tax, vehicle values, depreciation schedules, and exemptions.

How are the RTA tax revenues used?

RTA tax revenues are used for building and operating Sound Transit’s expanded light rail, Sounder commuter rail, and express bus systems linking cities throughout the central Puget Sound region, including the greater Tacoma, Seattle, Bellevue and Everett areas.



More information


Visit Sound Transit's web site for detailed information, answers to frequently asked questions, and direct contact information.

The Washington Department of Licensing provides information about the RTA Motor Vehicle Excise tax and the valuation used in calculating the MVET tax.