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Taxes and Regulatory Environment

The municipalities in Spokane County provide a customer-oriented approach to meet timelines and create a competitive advantage through service. There is no income tax or personal income tax in Washington State. Instead, there is a Business and Occupation Tax based on gross receipts.

Check out more information below about taxes and for more information, chat with a Department of Revenue specialist.

About Taxes

NO Corporate Income Tax

Regardless of the profitability of the company or the personal wealth of the employees, the company will only be taxed on its gross receipts. In neighboring states, such as Oregon, Idaho and California, as the profitability of the company grows, so do the taxes a company pays.

Business and Occupation Tax

Persons that engage in business in Washington are subject to Business and Occupation Tax and/or public utility tax (B&O). The tax is based on gross receipts and the rates vary according to thirty-two classification categories ranging from 0.13% to 3.3%. The B&O is administered by the Department of Revenue.  Visit the Department of Revenue’s site for more information about the Business and Occupation Tax and specific industry tax rates.

Sales and Use Tax

Washington State relies on consumer taxes rather than personal income taxes; primarily the retail sales tax. Sales tax does not apply to food products, prescription drugs, or professional and personal services. Manufacturers are exempt from sales tax on machinery and equipment used in their production or research operations, but consumers purchasing construction services and building materials are subject to sales tax.  The combined state and local retail sales tax rates range from 8.1% to 8.9% in Spokane County.

Find more information on Sales and Use Tax
State Property Taxes

Washington state property taxes vary due to voter-approved special levies. The average property tax in Spokane County is approximately $14.5 per $1000 of the assessed value.

Retail Sales Tax

Businesses making retail sales of property and services in Washington collect sales tax from their customer. There are some exemptions.

Learn more

The State of Washington has put out an easy-to-understand video about the basics on how to plan for, prepare, and pay state business taxes and insurance premiums. This video provides a step-by-step process on how to properly file a tax report.


Spokane County

Spokane County’s Building and Planning department provides professional customer-oriented construction permitting services. There are no impact fees associated with Spokane County building permits, instead permit fees based on a cost recovery/fee for service methodology. A single point of contact is provided to coordinate throughout the application process, and “phased” permitting is available for those developments on a fast-track schedule. Same day inspection service is the standard, and web-based permit tracking software allows online inspection requests and real time inspection results. If application and plans are complete, addressing all county and state requirements, approvals for new commercial construction can usually be completed within 35 days. Special designs and major commercial projects may require additional review time. In the case of commercial remodels or alterations, the complete application and approval process can be accomplished in shorter time frames.

City of Spokane

The City of Spokane makes a concerted effort to meet the needs of their customers. Shorter turnaround times in permitting were one of our identified goals as well as a need to have a consistent, predictable, and reliable permitting process.  The permitting team worked to develop solutions to eliminate the obstacles and implement the changes needed to meet the customers’ requirement to be consistent, predictable, and reliable. Full route permits, like new commercial buildings, are given a goal of a 30-day turnaround time. The City has consistently been at or below the 30-day time frame within the last 9 months. Over the last 12 months, the City has also met a 10-day permit turnaround goal for short route permits, such as single family residential and commercial tenant improvement projects.

City of Spokane Valley

The City of Spokane Valley has developed a streamlined permit process that fits the needs of local business owners and citizens. The city regularly evaluates their regulations to ensure they are sensible and use a common sense approach. To save their applicants time, they offer highly-trained, multi-disciplined technical review staff to help clients navigate the permit process and provide innovative solutions. To save money for applicants, the City ensures that permit fees are kept low and there are no impact fees. All commercial projects, including new development, are assigned a 10-business day target review date; however, many permits for commercial and residential projects are issued over the counter thanks to skilled, International Code Council-certified, front counter staff.

City of Liberty Lake

Liberty Lake meets the business needs of developers and contractors by being responsive, efficient in meeting timelines and deadlines, and listening to feedback for continuous improvement of services. Timing depends on the complexity of the project and the cooperation of the applicant, but the general range is 6-8 weeks. However, the City strives to meet applicant needs and always processes permits in a very efficient manner.

City of Cheney

Cheney has a nationally-certified, 40-acre industrial park which is just 15 minutes from the airport and qualifies for SBA HUB Zone. SEPA approvals are in place, so permitting and plan approval can be completed in 30 days or less. The City of Cheney’s Planning and Building Departments offers a pre-development process for developers and owners to get information about permitting requirements and processes prior to plan intake.