Taxable retail sales up in 1Q

Construction, autos spur taxable sales to 8.9 percent gain over 2015

By David Guest

Tacoma Daily Index editor

The Washington State Department of Revenue’s quarterly report on retail sales shows that the state’s taxable retail sales in the first quarter of 2016, grew 8.9 percent over the same period last year.

Released July 28, the DOR report said that overall taxable retail sales in the state (1Q 2016) topped $32 billion, with 41 percent coming from King County ($13.38 billion), a gain of 10.7 percent in the county. Pierce County checked in as the second-highest county in the sate with $3.36 billion in taxable retail sales, a 8.7 percent gain over the first quarter of last year.

The leading sector for taxable retail sales was the construction industry, which collected taxes on $5.9 billion, a 14 percent increase over last year. Accommodations and food services ($3.7 billion), new and used auto sales ($3 billion) and general merchandise stores ($2.4 billion), were all up in the first quarter.

Locally, auto sales led Tacoma’s taxable retail sales, pulling in $186 million in the first quarter, a 13 percent increase, while sales of electronics and appliances, building materials and garden equipment were down 13 percent.