State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Middle-Class Families
Tool | November 2021

Washington State Tax Guide for Middle-Class Families

State tax rates and rules for income, sales, gas, property, cigarette, and other taxes that impact middle-class families.


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The Bottom Line
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Most Tax-Friendly

Washington is one of our most tax-friendly states for middle-class families because it doesn't have an income tax. Unfortunately, the burden of other state and local taxes in the Evergreen State is heavier. For example, the average combined state and local sales tax rate for Washington is the fourth-highest in the country. Washington is also one of a handful of states with an estate tax.

Income Tax Range

Washington has no state income tax. However, beginning in 2022, the state will impose a 7% tax on the sale or exchange of certain long-term capital assets if the profits exceed $250,000 annually. (Note: The constitutionality of the Washington capital gains tax is being challenged in the courts. A lower court has ruled the tax is unconstitutional, but an appeal is expected.)

Sales Tax

6.5% state levy. Municipalities can add up to 4% to that, with the average combined rate at 9.29%, according to the Tax Foundation.

Groceries: Exempt
Clothing: Taxable
Motor Vehicles: Taxable (6.5% ordinary rate, plus additional 0.3% tax)
Prescription Drugs: Exempt

Real Property Taxes

In Washington, the median property tax rate is $958 per $100,000 of assessed home value.

Motor Fuel Taxes

Gasoline: 49.4¢ per gallon.
Diesel: 49.4¢ per gallon.

Sin Taxes

Cigarettes and little cigars: $3.03 per pack
Cigars: 95% of sale price, with a cap of $0.75 per cigar
Moist snuff: $2.53 per 1.2-ounce container
Other tobacco products: 95% of sale price
Vapor products: Closed products, $0.27 per ml; open containers greater than 5 ml, $0.09 per ml

Beer: $0.26 per gallon
Wine: $0.87 per gallon
Liquor: $14.27 per gallon, plus 20.5% "Spirits Sales Tax"

Marijuana: 37% excise tax

Annual Car Taxes and Fees

An annual car registration fee based on a standard fee plus the car's weight is imposed. Additional local fees may apply.

Estate and Inheritance Taxes

An estate tax is imposed by Washington on estates exceeding $2.193 million (the exemption threshold is subject to adjustment each year for inflation). Tax rates range from 10% to 20%. The state offers an additional $2.5 million deduction for family-owned businesses valued at less than $6 million.