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.

PDF iconSound 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, 2008 and 2016, voters within the RTA authorized Sound Transit to collect taxes to build and operate the regional transit system. The taxes are assessed only within the Sound Transit district:

Tax Total Imposed/Levied*
Sales & Use 1.4% ($0.14 on a $10 taxable purchase)
MVET 1.1% ($110 annually for each $10,000 of vehicle valuation)
Property Tax $0.25 annually per $1,000 of assessed valuation ($100 annually on a $400,000 house)
Rental car sales tax 0.8 percent ($0.80 on a $100 car rental)

* These rates include expanded transit funding approved by regional voters in November 2016: an additional 0.5 percent sales and use tax beginning in January 2017; an additional 0.8 percent MVET tax beginning with March 2017 initial and renewal registrations; and a new property tax of $0.25 per $1,000 of assessed valuation beginning in April 2017.

An additional rental car increase of up to 1.372 percent ($1.37 on a $100 car rental) can be authorized by the Sound Transit Board in the future.

Duration of taxes

Under the ballot measure regional voters approved in November 2016, the Sound Transit Board is obligated to roll back taxes to the level required for permanent operations and maintenance of the system following completion of transit capital projects, unless a future ballot measure directs otherwise. Within seven years of the scheduled 2041 completion of the system authorized by voters, Sound Transit and an independent advisor, Piper Jaffray & Co., have calculated that the entire taxes authorized in 2016 could be eliminated, along with approximately 11 percent of the sales taxes authorized in 1996 and 2008. This or an alternate mix of tax reductions could cut total agency tax collections in half.

Subarea equity

Sound Transit's policy of subarea equity means tax dollars raised in each of the five geographic areas forming the Sound Transit District are used for the projects and services that benefit that area's residents. Subarea equity requirements are legally binding and regularly undergo independent audits.

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.