Taxes in Mountlake Terrace

Mountlake Terrace Property Taxes:  The Snohomish County Assessor’s Office reports that the average 2015 residential property tax bill (includes schools, state, library, county, hospital and city) in Mountlake Terrace totals $2,461. 
Property Tax SingleFam2011-2015 2015
Comparatively, Mountlake Terrace residents pay the lowest property taxes in Snohomish County other than Stanwood and other very small communities.
Typical Residence 2015
The majority of the property tax bill or 66% is allocated in support of K-12 education. The City’s portion of property taxes totals approximately 20% of which 4% is legally dedicated to fire and EMS services.
2015 Property Tax Allocation
Low income seniors over age 61, and persons with disabilities may be able to lower their current property tax bills. The Snohomish County Assessor Homeowner's Guide to Property Tax has more information on this program.

State law governs exemptions or deferrals of property taxes for qualified senior citizens or persons with disabilities. Programs currently available are described below.

Senior Citizens/Disabled Exemption

If you are a senior citizen or disabled you can qualify for a property tax exemption if:
  • If your total annual disposable household income is $35,000 or less and you own and occupy a house, mobile home, condo or co-op, and one of the following is true you qualify to be exempt from all excess property tax levies:
    • You are 61 years of age or older or
    • You are retired because of physical disability or
    • You are a veteran with 100% service-connected disability or
    • You are a widow or widower at least 57 years of age whose spouse or state registered domestic partner had an exemption at the time of death
Excess levies are voter approved levies that are not part of a “regular” levy. Examples include a school district’s maintenance and operations levy and voter-approved capital levies, such as the school district’s capital construction bond or the proposed Civic Center capital bond:
  • If a person who otherwise qualifies under this section and has a combined disposable income of $35,000 or less but greater than $25,000 is exempt from all regular property taxes on the greater of $50,000 or 35% of the valuation of his or her residence, but not to exceed $70,000 of the valuation of his or her residence; or
  • A person who otherwise qualifies under this section and has a combined disposable income of $25,000 or less is exempt from all regular property taxes on the greater of $60,000 or 60% of the valuation of his or her residence.

Senior Citizen/Disabled Deferral

If you are a senior citizen or disabled you may qualify for a deferral if:
  • Your household disposable income is $40,000 or less and one of the following is true:
    • You are at least 60 years old when you file or
    • You are retired because of a disability
Deferred taxes become a lien against the property and must be settled when the property is sold.

Real Estate Excise Tax (REET)

The sale of real property in Washington is generally subject to real estate excise tax. This tax is imposed on the seller of the property and is generally paid to the county treasurer where the property is located. The tax rate in Mountlake Terrace is 1.78%, with 1.28% going to the State General Fund for K-12 education and public works assistance. The remaining 0.5% remains in the City of Mountlake Terrace: 0.25% is used for various capital improvements listed in the City's Capital Improvement Program and 0.25% must be used on construction, repairs or improvements of City streets, highways, sidewalks, etc.

Gambling Tax

The City of Mountlake Terrace assesses gambling taxes on gambling operations. The rates are:

Card Games: 10% of gross receipts
Pull Tabs: 5% of gross receipts for gambling establishments and 10% of net receipts for nonprofit establishments
Bingo: 2.5% of net receipts
Amusement Games: 2% of net receipts

The calculation of gross receipts excludes prizes. The calculation of net receipts excludes prizes.

Utility Tax

Utility taxes are levied on the gross operating revenues earned by private utilities from operations within the City of Mountlake Terrace boundaries or on the City’s own utilities (water, sewer and stormwater). Utilities that the city taxes include electric, natural gas, solid waste, telephone, and cable television.

State law limits the rate of utility tax on telephone, cellular telephone, pager services, and natural gas to 6% unless voters approve a higher rate. There are no restrictions on the tax rate for water, sewer, stormwater or solid waste. Cable TV must not be taxed at a rate substantially different than other utilities.

Utility taxes are levied on the gross operating revenues of the utility provider. The table below indicates the different utility rates assessed in the City of Mountlake Terrace:
Effective Rates
Rate on gross revenue
Cellular Phone
Natural Gas
Solid Waste
Storm Water

Admissions Tax

Admissions taxes are levied and imposed upon every person (including children without regard to age) who pays an admission charge to any place, the admission tax is five percent of the admission price.

Transient Occupancy (Hotel/Motel) Tax

There is an excise tax of two percent 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 taxes generated from the rental of rooms are restricted to be used for the promotion of tourism in the City of Mountlake Terrace.  The City’s Lodging Advisory Committee recommends to the City Council how these taxes are to be used.

Cable Television Education and Government Access Fee

The Mountlake Terrace City Council authorized the institution of an Educational and Government Access Channel Fee of $0.25 per month on Comcast and Frontier cable subscriber bills in Mountlake Terrace.

This fee was authorized to help the City pay for the audio and video equipment for locally-produced Education and Government programming. At some point, this may include equipment at City Council Chambers in the proposed Civic Center, for use in the production and transmission of City Council meetings.

If you have any questions about this cable fee, please feel free to contact Scott Hugill, City Manager, at 425-744-6208 or email.

Sales Tax

Local Sales and Use Tax Rate: 9.8%

The City of Mountlake Terrace receives 1% of the 9.8% sales tax rate. The breakdown of the sales rate is as follows:
Respective Body
 Tax Percentage

City of Mountlake Terrace


Community Transit


Criminal Justice


Regional Transit Authority


Snohomish County Mental Health


State of Washington


Total Local and State Sales Tax:


Each Sales Tax Dollar that is collected in the City is distributed as shown below:
Distribution Of Sales Tax Dollar
Business and Occupation Tax
The City of Mountlake Terrace does not assess a Business and Occupation tax. Mountlake Terrace does require business licenses for doing business in the City.   Click here to go to the Business Licenses page for more details.