Tax Regulations & Collection Process
Chapter 82.45 RCW imposes an excise tax on every sale of property in this state at the rate of 1.28% of the selling price. Unless otherwise specifically exempt from tax, all sales are subject to the real estate excise tax. Chapter 82.46 RCW authorizes counties, cities, and towns to impose additional local taxes on sales based on the same incidence, collections, and reporting methods, as applicable under Chapter 82.45 RCW.
Filing the Deed
Each deed must be accompanied by the Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit (PDF) Affidavits must have original signatures. The Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit form must be printed on legal size paper (8.5" x 14"). Nature of transfer may require completion of the Real Estate Excise Tax Supplemental Statement (PDF) in addition to the affidavit.
Prior to recording, a Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit must be completed and submitted with the original document/deed, (Xerox or fax copies not acceptable) to the San Juan County Treasurer for processing. Please remit a check, made payable to the San Juan County Treasurer for the total Excise taxes due (see Rates section). Also, a separate check made payable to San Juan County Auditor for the recording fees should be remitted with the packet presented.
When real estate excise tax is exempt, there is a $10 processing fee applied to the excise affidavit. Please remit a separate check made payable to the San Juan County Treasurer for $10 per affidavit if there is an exemption claimed.
The complete legal description of the property must be included on the affidavit. If the full legal description is lengthy, it can be included as an attachment. Both Grantor(s) and Grantee(s) must sign tax affidavit and supplemental statement (if applicable).
If an exemption is claimed, you must provide the correct WAC number and reason for exemption in section 7 of the REETA.
When using WAC No. 458-61A-201 (GIFTS), a completed Real Estate Excise Tax Supplemental Statement signed by both Grantor and Grantee must be submitted along with the Real Estate Tax Affidavit. Original signatures only, agents may not sign.
Excise tax is 2.28% of the gross sale price (1.28% Washington State, 0.50% San Juan County Capital Projects and 0.50% San Juan County Housing). In addition, San Juan County collects 1% of the gross sale price for conservation Land Bank tax. An additional $5 fee is added to each sale for the State of Washington Technology fee.
Transfers of Mobile Homes
When transferring ownership of a mobile home that is not being moved from its current location, a Mobile Home Real Estate Tax Affidavit (PDF) is required. An additional $5 fee will be added to each sale for the State of Washington Technology fee.