2018 retail sales set record at $170.2 billion

May 22, 2019
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Written by Washington Retail
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Statewide taxable retail sales set a record last year of $170.2 billion, the Department of Revenue reported.

A department snapshot showed consecutive record annual sales figures dating back to 2014 showing annual increases ranging from 6.5% to last year’s gain of 9.6%. The report counts transactions subject to retail sales tax including construction, manufacturing and other sectors.

Retail sales taxes make up approximately half of what the state spends annually from its general operating budget.

Washington Retail cited this strong economic recovery to justify its position that no new taxes needed to be approved during the 2019 session. Regardless, the Legislature and Governor approved several new taxes.

Among the stronger economic industry sectors showing annual sales gains were construction, up 14%; electronics and appliances, up 12.6%; building materials and garden supplies, up 8%; and new and used auto sales, up 2.3%.

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