Commercial parking tax

Commercial parking tax is added to the fee drivers pay to park in Seattle's commercial parking lots.

Drivers pay the tax when they park. But it is the business's responsibility to charge and collect the tax. Then, the business must pay the collected amount when taxes are filed. The business is liable for the tax whether or not it is collected.

Tax rate

The Seattle commercial parking tax rate is 0.125 (12.5%).

Guidelines to follow

You must collect the tax from each customer who parks in your lot. To calculate the amount you should collect, multiply the parking fee you charge by the tax rate. Then when you file your Seattle business license taxes, you will submit the money you collected.

You can include the tax price in your advertised parking price if:

  • your advertisement states that the parking fee includes tax
  • the words "tax included" are shown next to the posted price
  • the text size of "tax included" is at least half as large as the text size of the posted price

The commercial parking tax does not apply to parking on Seattle streets or to parking in residential spaces. Also, certain stadiums and exhibition centers are exempt from the tax per state law.

Paying the tax for discounted or free parking

The commercial parking tax must be paid for people who park in your lot at a discounted rate or for free. This is often the case when a company leases office space and charges its employees a discounted rate to use the building parking garage. In other cases, employees receive free parking as a job perk. In these cases and others like them, the measure of the tax is the fair market value of a typical parking stall in the lot or as determined per Seattle Rule 5-925(3)(e).

Read the code

You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) for legal details about the commercial parking tax.

SMC Chapter 5.35 covers the commercial parking tax.

Seattle business tax rule 5-925 provides further information.