Seasonal growth in sales of lawn and garden equipment and continued increases in drug and health store sales helped boost second-quarter taxable retail sales 5 percent over the same period in 2016, reaching a total of $38.6 billion.
That’s according to a quarterly report released today by the Washington State Department of Revenue. The report also noted that retail trade sales — a subset of all taxable retail sales in the state — were up 4.9 percent to a total of $16.6 billion.
Taxable retail sales are transactions subject to the retail sales tax, including sales by retailers, the construction industry, manufacturing and other sectors. Retail trade includes sales of items such as clothing, furniture and automobiles, but excludes other industries, such as services and construction.
Of the top 10 most populated counties in the state, Clark and Whatcom counties enjoyed the largest overall taxable retail sales percentage increase, with jumps of 10.5 and 11.6 percent, respectively. The South Sound, though, was no slouch in the department: Taxable retail sales in Pierce County rose to $4.0 billion, an increase of 7.4 percent, while Thurston County saw a slightly bigger bump of 7.5 percent to $1.3 billion.
Additionally, among the largest cities in the state, Tacoma had the largest increase in taxable retail sales, moving the needle up 10.5 percent to $1.3 billion.