Last month, an annual report released by the Department of Revenue showed that taxable retail sales in the state reached a record high of $170.2 billion in 2018 — a 9.6 percent gain over 2017.
Transactions subject to retail sales tax include sales by retailers, manufacturers, the construction industry, and other sectors.
Also growing is retail trade — a subset of taxable retail sales tax that includes sales of items like clothing, furniture, and automobiles — which increased by 7.2 percent over the previous year to reach a total of $71.5 billion.
Growth in 2018 was largely driven by construction (up 14 percent to $35.2 billion), auto sales (up 2.3 percent to $13.9 billion), garden equipment (up 8 percent to $7.5 billion), and electronics/appliances (up 12.6 percent to $4.3 billion).
Among the 10 most populated counties statewide, King and Pierce counties saw the largest increase in percentage of taxable retail sales. Among the most populated cities, Bellevue and Seattle enjoyed the largest increase.
The report by the Department of Revenue is composed of data gathered from tax returns filed by Washington businesses on a quarterly and annual basis.