Heating Oil Tax - Delayed

Effective date is January 1, 2023

Alert - On March 1, 2022, the Seattle City Council passed an amendment to the heating oil tax ordinance and the new effective date will be Jan. 1, 2023. Heating oil distributors must be sure to not inadvertently pass the amount of the new tax along to their customers this year.

If you have any questions about the heating oil tax or the delay, please contact Christine Bunch in the Office of Sustainability & Environment, via email at Christine.bunch@Seattle.gov or via phone at (206) 615-1633.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, the City of Seattle will impose a tax on the distribution of heating oil within the city.  Heating oil providers-not homeowners and other buyers-will be required to pay the heating oil tax starting then. This tax is based on the amount of heating oil delivered to a buyer or a buyer's representative within the City of Seattle.

This new tax has been passed by City Council to help support the City's goal to phase out the use of heating oil within Seattle by 2028 and to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

Tax rate

The tax rate is $.236 per gallon of heating oil sold at retail. 

Revenue from the heating oil tax will be used to help pay for low income households to switch from oil to energy-efficient electric heat pumps. Households that are not income qualified will also have access to rebates to help offset the cost of switching to a heat pump.

Some revenue from the tax will support heating oil providers with workforce development and business consulting services to support their transition to clean energy technologies.

If the heating oil provider were to pass this tax on to their residential customers, the cost will likely mean an increase of an average $118 annually ($9.83/month). This cost estimate is based on an average household consuming 500 gallons of oil per year.  

Background on legislation and programs

Read about the City of Seattle's legislation for taxing the distributors of heating oil and the programs funded by the tax.

Get more information 

Read the ordinance.