By now, you've heard about the higher car-tab fees and property taxes associated with the $54 billion Sound Transit Three measure that voters approved last fall. The next hit to your wallet kicks in Saturday, in the form of a higher sales tax.
For people in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, that means almost everything you buy is about to cost more money. To find out the new sales tax rates in your city, click here.
Sound Transit says the 0.5 percent sales tax increase comes out to 50-cents on a $100 purchase, which might not sound like a lot.
But it's important to note the 0.5 percent increase is in addition to the 0.9 percent sales tax Sound Transit was already collecting under past Sound Transit initiatives approved in 1996 and 2008.
That brings the total Sound Transit sales tax to 1.4 percent, or 14-cents, on a $10 purchase.
It's too early to know whether the sales tax hike will cause the same sticker shock we've seen over ST3 car-tab taxes.
"No one likes having to pay a higher tax, but people do like being able to get around their region without being stuck in traffic. We're dealing with the facts here, that there is a lot of congestion today, a near doubling of congestion in the last five years, and more congestion coming as the population grows," said Geoff Patrick, a spokesperson for Sound Transit.
Patrick reminds people the area that makes up the Sound Transit District is home to 97 percent of the state's congestion.
He says the increases to sales, property, and car-tab taxes will fund expanded light rail service and much-needed improvements to the regional mass transit system.
"There's been a huge interest in more transit, and that's what this measure is going to do," said Patrick.
In advance of Saturday, the State Department of Revenue has been working to educate both business owners and consumers about the ST3 sales tax increase.
Washington already had one of the highest combined state and local tax rates in the country.
According to State Department of Revenue, the addition of the ST3 sales tax broke a new record: the first time the retail sales tax on general purchases is over 10 percent in some cities.
The total sales tax will vary a bit by city, depending on what other local taxes consumers might be paying, on top of Sound Transit Three.
In Lynnwood, for instance, voters approved a 0.1 percent sales increase to help support a transportation benefit district. Combined with the 0.5 percent ST3 sales tax increase, that means consumers in Lynnwood will now pay a record sales tax rate of 10.4 percent.
Sound Transit's current plan would extend light rail service to Lynnwood, with four new stations opening in 2023.
"10.4 percent sales tax. It's a little frustrating, but that's how it is," said Lynnwood resident James Hill. "I think we do want Sound Transit up here. We want the light rail, so I'm willing to pay for it."
Consumers in Mill Creek will also pay a 10.4 percent sales tax after the ST3 sales tax increase takes effect.
In Seattle and Tacoma, the ST3 tax increase brings the total sales tax to 10.1 percent.
Sound Transit says an adult at the median level income will pay an additional $79 per year in ST3 sales taxes.
That's a number Sound Transit based on a median household income level of $73,359, according to 2015 data from the Washington State Office of Financial Management for King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.