220 Fourth Avenue South, Kent WA 98032 - (253) 856-5200


The Official Website of the City of Kent


Utility Tax

(Kent City Code Chapter 3.18)



This tax is similar to the gross receipts B&O tax except that it is imposed on utility businesses.  The business activities affected by this tax are as follows:

  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Drainage
  • Garbage collection and disposal
  • Electric and Natural Gas
  • Cable
  • Telephone and cellular


The City of Kent operates water, sewer, and storm drainage utilities.  However, certain areas of the City receive water and/or sewer services from the following:

  • King County Water District No. 111 (Lake Meridian area)
  • Highline Water District (West Hill)
  • Soos Creek Water & Sewer District (Southeast)
  • Midway Sewer District (West Hill)
  • Lakehaven Utility District (Southwest)


Section 3.18.010 of the Kent City Code establishes the definition of terms used on this website and certain related referenced documents, e.g. “gross income” and “cellular telephone”.



Utility Tax Return


What is a utility tax?

The utility tax is a gross receipts tax.  It is measured on the value from the performance of the particular public service business involved in the City of Kent.  There are no deductions for the cost of the commodity, labor, or other costs of providing the service unless otherwise provided for in Section 3.18.020 of the Kent City Code. 


Who is subject to the utility tax?

All organizations (including the City of Kent) providing the following services are subject to the utility tax:

  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Drainage
  • Garbage collection and disposal
  • Electric and Natural Gas
  • Cable
  • Telephone and cellular


When is payment due?

The utility tax is due and payable on or before the end of the month immediately following the end of the tax reporting month, e.g. February – March 31.  Taxpayers expected to owe less than $1,000 per month may submit taxes on a quarterly basis in which case the tax is due and payable on or before the end of the month immediately following the end of the tax reporting quarter, e.g. 1st Quarter – April 30. 


There is a 10% penalty for all amounts 30 days or more past due.  Interest is charged based on 1% of the amount past due (12% per annum).  There is a “non-sufficient funds” (NSF) charge of $25.00


How do I file and pay the utility tax?

Complete and sign the Utility Tax Return


Remit payment as follows:


City of Kent

Finance Customer Services

220 4th Avenue South

Kent, WA  98032


The City is currently developing an on-line tax filing and payment option and will make an announcement when this becomes available.


What are the utility tax classifications and rates?



Business Activity Tax Rate
Telephone Business / Cellular Phones        6.0%  (.06) 
Electricity for Light and Power   6.0%  (.06)
Cable Television Services   6.0%  (.06)
Garbage Collection Services   7.8%  (.078) 
Water, Sewer and Drainage Services  13.0%  (.13) 




Business Activity                                           Tax Rate

Telephone Business/Cellular Phones              6.0% (.06)

Electricity for Light and Power                         6.0% (.06)

Cable Television Services                               6.0% (.06)

Garbage Collection Services                           7.8% (.078)

Water, Sewer and Drainage Services             13.0% (.13)


What tax deductions are available and how are they claimed?

Section 3.18.020 of the Kent City Code establishes the following deductions:

  • Credit losses or bad debts sustained by the taxpayer
  • Amounts derived from transactions in interstate and foreign commerce which the city is prohibited from taxing under the laws and Constitution of the United States


The credit losses must be reported on the Utility Tax Return and properly supported in order to claim this deduction.  Interstate and foreign commerce does not have to be reported; however, the taxpayer must be able to support these items.


Admissions Tax

Whenever a charge is collected for admission to any place or event for entertainment or recreation within the Kent city limits, an admissions tax is levied. 


B&O Tax

In general, all businesses subject to the State of Washington business and occupation tax and conducting business activities within Kent city limits are subject to the City's tax.


Gambling Tax

All persons, associations, and organizations that have been duly licensed by the Washington State Gambling Commission to conduct or operate gambling activities are subject to Gambling Tax.