Funding projects

Paying for regional transit

Sound Transit is funded by a combination of local taxes, federal grants, fares, interest earnings and miscellaneous revenues. Local taxes make up just over half of Sound Transit's total funding. In 1996, 2008 and 2016, voters within the RTA district approved tax increases to build and operate the regional mass transit system. These 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 (Car tab tax) 1.1% ($110 annually for each $10,000 of depreciated vehicle value)
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 tax increases to fund expanded transit approved by regional voters in November 2016: an additional 0.5 percent sales and use tax effective April 1, 2017; an additional 0.8 percent Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET, or car tabs) beginning March 1, 2017, with new and renewal vehicle registrations; and a new property tax of $0.25 per $1,000 of assessed valuation beginning January 1, 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.

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