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Taxes and Fees

Sales Tax

The Local Sales and Use Tax Rate is 9.4%

The City of Lakewood receives 1% of the 9.4% sales tax rate. The breakdown of the 9.4% sales tax rate is as follows:

City of Lakewood 1.0%*
Pierce Transit 0.6%
Sound Transit 0.9%
Pierce County Jail 0.1%
Zoo/Parks 0.1%
South Sound 911 0.1%
Criminal Justice 0.1%
State of Washington 6.5%
  9.4%

*of the 1%, Lakewood receives 0.84% (Pierce County receives 15% of the 1% and the State receives 1% of the 1% leaving 84% (.84%) to the City of Lakewood).

Each Sales Tax Dollar that is collected in the City is distributed as shown below:

Property Tax

Private property and businesses in Lakewood are levied a property tax which is collected in two installments in April and October of each year. The 2014 property tax rate averages $16.0439 per $1,000 of assessed value and may vary based on individual taxing districts1.

1Levy rate based on the Clover Park School District, the largest in the City of Lakewood.

The Pierce County Assessor’s Office reports the average 2014 residential property tax bill (including schools, state, fire, library, port, city, etc.) in Lakewood totals $3,122. Below is the trend for average residential property tax bill for the last four years.

The following chart shows how the average residential property tax bill for Lakewood residents compares to other cities in Pierce County.

Source: Pierce County Assessor. Average value of home in Lakewood is $194,610.

Lakewood receives approximately 8.92% of the property taxes paid by Lakewood residents or $1.4312 per $1,000.00 of assessed value. The City’s portion pays for Lakewood’s general operations including Police, Public Works, and Parks services. The remaining 91.08% is distributed between Washington State, Pierce County, the Port of Tacoma, Flood Control Services, Emergency Medical Services, School Districts, Rural Libraries, and Fire Districts.

Levy Rate Per $1,000 Assessed Value
Taxing District 2014
Total Levy Rate $ 16.0438
*Levy rate based on the Clover Park School District, the largest in the City of Lakewood.
City of Lakewood $1.4312
Emergency Medical Services 0.5000
Flood Control 0.1013
Pierce County 1.5609
Port of Tacoma 0.1833
Rural Library 0.5000
School District 5.9751
Washington State 2.5271
West Pierce Fire District 3.2649


Utility Tax

Utility taxes are levied on the gross income earned by private utilities from operations within the City of Lakewood boundaries. Taxable utilities include electric, natural gas, cable, cellular, telephone, and solid waste.

State law limits the rate of utility tax on cellular, telephone, and natural gas to 6% unless voters approve a higher rate. There are no restrictions on the tax for solid waste. Cable TV must not be taxed at a rate substantially different than other utilities.

The table below indicates the different utility rates assessed in the City of Lakewood:

Effective Rate Percent of gross income
Electric 5.0%
Natural Gas 5.0%
Cable 6.0%
Cellular 6.0%
Telephone 6.0%
Solid Waste 6.0%
Stormwater 6.0%

Utility taxes are due by the last day of the month following the end of the monthly period in which the tax is accrued. Payments not remitted to the City of Lakewood by the due date will accrue the following penalties and interest:

  • 1 to 10 days late – 10% penalty;
  • 11 to 20 days late – 15% penalty;
  • 21 to 30 days late – 20% penalty;
  • 31 or more days late – 25% penalty; and
  • Interest will be charged on all taxes due at a rate of 1% per month that said amounts are past due.

Utility Tax Relief Program

The City of Lakewood offers a utility tax relief program to reimburse qualifying low income seniors and disabled persons for their utility tax payments. To qualify a person must be either 62 years of age or older or be permanently disabled, and the person must have an income less that 50% of the median income. Applicants must be a resident of Lakewood and the amount of relief will be prorated on a monthly basis for each month that the customer was a resident. Applicants must apply each year for the program. The maximum relief available is $30 per year ($10 per utility for electric, natural gas and telephone). Applications are due by December 31st.

To apply for tax relief, qualified individuals will need to complete the applicable forms.

For more information and for assistance in completing the forms, please contact the Finance Department at (253) 589-2489.

Gambling Tax

The City of Lakewood assesses gambling tax on gambling operations. The rates are:

  Lakewood Max Amount Authorized
under Washington State Law
Punch boards 3% of gross receipts 5% of gross receipts
Pull tabs 5% of gross receipts 5% of gross receipts
Bingo 5% of gross receipts 5% of gross receipts
Raffles 5% of gross receipts 5% of gross receipts
Amusement games 2% of gross receipts
less amount paid as prizes
2% of gross receipts
less amount paid as prizes
Card games 11% of gross receipts 20% of gross receipts

Bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations, as defined by RCW 9.46.0209 , conducting bingo, raffles, amusement games, or gambling within the City of Lakewood shall be exempt from payment of gambling taxes to the City.

Gambling taxes are due in monthly installments and must be remitted, along with the Monthly Gambling Tax Return by the 15th day of the month following the month in which the tax was accrued.

Payments not remitted to the City of Lakewood by the due date will accrue the following penalties and interest:

  • 1 to 10 days late – 10% penalty;
  • 11 to 20 days late – 15% penalty;
  • 21 to 30 days late – 20% penalty;
  • 31 to 60 days late – 25% penalty; and
  • Interest will be charged on all taxes due at a rate of 1% per month that said amounts are past due.

Real Estate Excise Tax

All sales of real estate are taxed at 1.78%, of which the city receives 0.5%, and 1.28% goes towards state funding of K-12 education and public works assistance as defined in RCW 82.45 . The Pierce County Treasurer collects the real estate excise tax and places 1% of the tax collected in the County Current Expense Fund to cover the costs of collection. The remaining 99% of real estate excise tax collected by Pierce County is then remitted to the City on a monthly basis. Excise tax collected may be used for the financing of capital projects as defined in RCW 82.46.010(6) .

Real estate excise tax is the obligation of the seller of real property and is due and payable immediately at the time of sale. If the tax is not paid within thirty days of the sale, interest will be charged at the maximum rate permitted by law from the time of sale until the date of payment.

For more information on remitting excise tax to Pierce County please visit the County’s website .

Admission Tax

An admission tax of 5% is levied and imposed upon every person (including children without regard to age) who pays an admission charge to any place or event including play tickets, entrance fees and cover charges to clubs.

The tax is due to the City of Lakewood from the person or organization collecting the admission fee by the 15th day of the month following the “reporting period” in which the activity occurred.

Reporting periods are two-month blocks of time:

  • January/February – Due March 15th
  • March/April – Due May 15th
  • May/June – Due July 15th
  • July/August – Due September 15th
  • September/October – Due November 15th
  • November/December – Due January 15th

Hotel/Motel Tax

There is an excise tax of 7% on the sale of or charge made for the furnishing of lodging by a hotel, rooming house, tourist court, motel, trailer camp and the granting of any similar license to use real property. The hotel/motel taxes generated from the rental of rooms are restricted to be used for the promotion of tourism in the City of Lakewood. The City’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the City Council in regards to how these taxes are to be used.

Business and Occupation Tax

The City of Lakewood does not assess a Business and Occupation tax. Lakewood does require business licenses for doing business in the City. Please visit the Business Licenses page for more details.

More Information

For more information about the taxes in the City of Lakewood, please contact Tho Kraus, Assistant City Manager/Finance Administrative Services at or (253) 983-7706.