Whatcom County Residents Will See an Increase Starting July 1
A Whatcom County sales tax increase means consumers will pay an additional 1 cent per $10.00 purchase starting July 1.
Sales Tax Increase Affects All Whatcom County
The .1 percent increase affects all of Whatcom County, including Bellingham, Ferndale and Lynden. Smaller towns such as Everson and Nooksack will see a rise as well. Consumers in unincorporated parts of the county will pay more, too.
In Bellingham, the hike will result in a sales tax rate of 8.8 percent. This increase in the county’s biggest city is the first in 10 years.
Why the Rate Boost?
The increase will help fund programs to create affordable housing in the county. Until now, property taxes have mostly funded the program – in place since 2012. The Bellingham city council approved a .1 percent sales tax increase to add spending power to the program on March 22. On the next day, the county council followed suit.
Business Owners Need to Prepare
The Whatcom County sales tax increase means business owners who charge sales tax will have to make changes. For instance, cash registers will need to be updated. And for businesses using QuickBooks to generate invoices and sales receipts, that will mean changing the tax rate on each city and location. And remember, the new rate starts July 1.
The Washington Department of Revenue has a webpage that lets you download a PDF with the sales tax rates for every locality in the state.
Do Washington’s consumer taxes hurt lower-income residents more? One report says they do.
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