Our taxing district

The Sound Transit taxing district

The Agency's taxing district includes the most populated areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. It is sometimes called the RTA (regional taxing district). The RTA generally follows the urban growth boundaries created by each county in accordance with the state Growth Management Act and electoral precincts as established in 1996.

Sound Transit district boundary map (pdf)

Do you live in the district? Address locator tool

Paying for regional transit

Sound Transit is funded by tax dollars. In 1996 and 2008, voters within the RTA authorized Sound Transit to collect taxes to build and operate the regional transit system. The taxes are known as the RTA tax and are only assessed within the Sound Transit district. The RTA taxes currently assessed are:

  • Retail sales tax: 0.9 percent
  • Rental car sales tax: 0.8 percent
  • Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET): 0.3 percent

Sound Transit is authorized to assess an employer tax of $2 per employee, but doesn't currently. To collect this tax, the agency would have to get voter approval.

In the future, if voters decide not to extend the system beyond what is already funded, the RTA will roll back the tax rate to one sufficient to pay off the bonds associated with building the system and to operate and maintain the regional transit system.

If you have questions about the RTA tax, please contact customer service: main@soundtransit.org or 877-755-4550.

Learn more about the car tab tax (MVET). Or, by visiting the Department of Licensing website.

Retail sales and rental car sales tax

Sound Transit's retail sales tax and rental car sales taxes are collected by the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR). The taxes are paid in accordance with DOR filing and payment requirements. Learn more about the RTA retail sales and rental car sales taxes by visiting the Department of Revenue website.