When you buy or sell a home in San Juan County, Washington, you will need to pay real estate excise tax. This tax is a percentage of the sale price of the property, and it is used to fund a variety of government services, including schools, roads, conservation areas, affordable housing, and libraries.
Real Estate Excise Tax
- Conservation Area Real Estate Excise Tax. San Juan County imposes a Conservation Area Real Estate. Excise Tax (also known as the Land Bank Tax) on all sales of real property in the County in an amount equal to one percent (1%) of the sales price. San Juan County collects the tax on all sales between December 6,1990 and December 5, 2026. Buyer shall pay the applicable Conservation Area Real Estate Excise Tax at the time of closing, as required by San Juan County Code Chapter 2.120.
- Affordable Housing Excise Tax. Pursuant to RCW 82.46, San Juan County imposes an Affordable Housing Excise Tax on all sales of real property in the County in an amount equal to one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the sales price. Buyer shall pay ninety-nine percent (99%) and Seller shall pay one percent (1%) of the applicable Affordable Housing Excise Tax at the time of closing, as required by the San Juan County Code.
- Real Estate Excise Tax. Seller shall pay Washington State real estate excise tax as required by RCW 82.45 and any county or city real estate excise tax as required by RCW 82.46.
The amount of the real estate excise tax in San Juan County is based on the sale price of the property. The tax is tiered, which means that the rate increases as the sale price increases. The current tax rates are as follows:
- Sale price of $525,000 or less: 1.10%
- Sale price of $525,000.01 – $1,525,000: 1.28%
- Sale price of $1,525,000.01 – $3,025,000: 2.75%
- Sale price of $3,025,000 or more: 3.00%
Land Bank REET Explained
In addition to the regular real estate excise tax, San Juan County also has a land bank tax. This tax is 1% of the sale price of the property, and it is used to fund the San Juan County Land Bank. The Land Bank is a non-profit organization that acquires and preserves land for conservation and recreation purposes.
Affordable Housing REET Explained
San Juan County also has an affordable housing tax. This tax is 0.5% of the sale price of the property, and it is used to finance acquisition, construction, and operation of affordable housing facilities for persons with low/moderate income or those with special needs.
I provide my Seller clients with “Seller’s Net Proceeds” at the time an offer comes in on their property so they can see exactly how much the REET’s will cost them. My Buyer clients receive “Estimate Closing Costs” when making offers so they can see how much in closing costs including the REET’s will be.
I hope this blog post has helped you understand real estate excise taxes in San Juan County, WA. To learn more about local taxes for buyers and sellers in San Juan County, you can visit the website of the San Juan County Treasurer’s Office. You can also call the Treasurer’s Office at (360) 378-4600.