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Higher sales tax goes into effect across Puget Sound on Saturday

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by: Natasha Chen, Kiro7 News

Many jurisdictions across Puget Sound will see a slightly higher sales tax beginning April 1. The highest combined sales tax in the region will be in Lynnwood and Mill Creek, where the new rate is 10.4 percent.

Other cities in Snohomish County will be right on their heels with a 10.3 percent sales tax. The highest rate in King County will be in Seattle at 10.1 percent; the highest rate in Pierce County will also be 10.1 percent in Tacoma.

For a full list of new sales tax rates, see this chart(Page 2 breaks down tax rates by jurisdiction).

Most areas in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties are seeing a higher rate to expand and coordinate light-rail, commute-rail, and express bus services.

But some cities are seeing an increase to cover local services. For example, Cowlitz County will have a higher rate to cover emergency communication. Kitsap County is using an increase to pay for passenger-only ferry services. The city of Mount Vernon is using an increase to pay for transportation services.

“It was just crazy, listening to it go up to 10.4 on Saturday,” said Lillie Snow, a sales consultant for McDonald’s Fine Furniture in Lynnwood.

She said she strongly suggests people go into the store to buy their furniture on Friday, while the sales tax is still 9.8 percent.

The store is even offering a promotion for anyone who buys $1,200 of in-stock furniture. The store will give a discount equivalent to what one would pay for sales tax.

“I’m sure everybody’s just really scrambling now, so if you need furniture, it’s probably a really good time to come in,” she said.

Some residents in Snohomish County told KIRO 7 they don’t mind paying extra.

This is a tax that I voted to support, and I fully believe that a better transit system is something everyone can benefit from,” said Joe Chlebowski.

He said the tax rate would not affect his decision about what to buy and where to buy it.

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