Taxes and Fees in Lakewood

This page outlines and explains all of the taxes in the City of Lakewood, Washington.

Sales Tax
Property Tax
Utility Tax
Gambling Tax
Hotel/Motel Lodging Tax
Admissions Tax
Real Estate Excise Tax

General Information

Fee Schedule

2023 Fee Schedule (PDF) as adopted by City Council on Nov. 21, 2022 per Resolution 2022-14.

Business & Occupation Tax

The City of Lakewood does not assess a Business and Occupation tax.  The City does require business licenses for doing business in the City. For more information visit the city’s Business License information page.

Sales Tax

The Local Sales and Use Tax Rate of 10.1%.

July 1, 2023, local sales and use tax within Pierce County, except for Tacoma, increased one-tenth of one percent (.001). The tax will be used for housing and related services. This brings the total rate to 10.1%.

The City of Lakewood receives 1% of the 10.1% sales tax rate. The breakdown of the 10.1% sales tax rate is as follows:

City of Lakewood*1.0%
State of Washington6.5%
Sound Transit1.4%
Pierce Transit0.6%
Criminal Justice0.1%
Pierce County Housing & Related Services0.1%
Pierce County Juvenile Facilities0.1%
Pierce County Mental Health and Chemical Dependency0.1%
South Sound 9110.1%

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

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 2023 property tax rate averages $10.4 per $1,000 of assessed value and may vary based on individual taxing districts (based on the Clover Park School District, the largest in the City of Lakewood).

Direct and Overlapping Property Tax Rate

The Pierce County Assessor’s Office reports the average 2023 residential property tax bill (including schools, state, fire, library, port, city, etc.) in Lakewood totals $5,110. Below is the trend for the average residential property tax bill for the last ten years.

CoL Avg Property Tax Bill

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

PC Avg Res Property Tax Bill
PC Avg Res Property Tax Bill

Source: Pierce County Assessor. The average value of a single-family home in Lakewood is $508,843.

Lakewood receives approximately 7.1% of the property taxes paid by Lakewood residents or $0.7101 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 93.3% is distributed between Washington State, Pierce County, the Port of Tacoma, flood control services, emergency medical services, school districts, rural libraries, Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and fire districts.

Levy Rate Per $1,000 Assessed Value:

Taxing District 2023
City of Lakewood$ 0.7101
Emergency Medical Services$ 0.4115
Flood Control$ 0.1004
Pierce County$ 0.7539
Port of Tacoma$ 0.1330
Rural Library$ 0.3333
School District$ 3.1331
Regional Transit Authority (RTA)$ 0.1558
Washington State$ 2.3122
West Pierce Fire District$ 1.9985
Total Levy Rate$10.0418

Where do my property taxes go?

Property Tax Dollar Bill
Property Tax Dollar Bill
Property Tax Pie Chart
Property Tax Pie Chart

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:

Natural Gas5.0%
Solid Waste6.0%

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.

Download the Utility Tax Return Form (PDF).

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 31.

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

Utility Tax Reduction Worksheet/Application (PDF)

For more information and for assistance in completing the forms, please contact the Finance Division at (253) 983-7707.

Gambling Tax

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

ActivityLakewoodMax Amount Authorized Under Washington State Law
Punch Boards3% of gross receipts5% of gross receipts or 10% of net receipts
Pulltabs5% of gross receipts5% of gross receipts or 10% of net receipts
Bingo5% of net receipts5% of net receipts
Raffles5% of net receipts
Amusement Games2% of net receipts2% of net receipts
Card Games11% of gross receipts20% of gross receipts

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 (PDF) 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 30 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 Pierce County’s website.

Admissions Tax

An admissions 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, along with the Admission Tax Return (PDF) is due to the city 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 Lodging 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 lodging tax generated from the rental of rooms is 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 regard to how these taxes are to be used.