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Business License Fees in 2023 and 2024

Tacoma’s Business License Fee Structure Updated With Passage of Substitute Ordinance 28838


November 2, 2022


Jeff Lueders, Media and Communications, jlueders@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5152
Maria Lee, Media and Communications,
maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054

Tacoma’s Business License Fee Structure Updated With Passage of Substitute Ordinance 28838

TACOMA, Wash. - On November 1, 2022, the City Council passed Substitute Ordinance 28838 amending Title 6, Chapter 6B.20 of the Municipal Code, relating to the City of Tacoma’s annual business license fees. The new fee structure is effective on January 1, 2023 for all business licenses.


Gross Income


Business License Fee (Current)

Business License Fee (2023)

Business License Fee (2024)

Less than $12,000




$12,000 - $250,000




$250,001 - $1,000,000




$1,000,001 - $5,000,000




Over $5,000,000





In 2023, annual business license fees will increase for all except Tacoma’s smallest businesses who will continue paying $25 a year. Ninety percent of businesses in Tacoma will see either no increase in their annual business license fee, or a $20 or $50 increase based on their annual gross income. The remaining 10 percent of larger businesses will see more substantial increases.

In 2024, annual business license fees will increase for all businesses as shown in the chart above.


Overall, the new fee structure is projected to add more than $10 million into the General Fund over the next biennium, providing the City of Tacoma with additional flexibility in supporting the needs of businesses as well as the broader community.


"I want to applaud Council Member Keith Blocker for hearing the feedback of our businesses and this City Council, and taking the time to rework his ordinance with a focus on engaging our business community going forward," said Mayor Victoria Woodards. "When the Biennial Budget comes forward later this month, there will be a resolution that asks the Economic Development Committee to have a discussion with the business community on how the City’s General Fund services can best support economic development and businesses.”


“I want to thank Andrea Reay at the Chamber of Commerce in particular for her leadership, and her commitment to participate as a key stakeholder in finding the most impactful solution for Tacoma's businesses,” said Council Member Keith Blocker, who sponsored the substitute ordinance with the support of Council Members Kiara Daniels and Kristina Walker. “I would also like to acknowledge and thank Francesca Siena at Marlene's Market for holding a community gathering in September that highlighted the concerns of businesses in Tacoma who talked about needing more from their government. This contributed to my decision to propose the fee increase so that we can do more to address the concerns of our community.”


With the passage of Substitute Ordinance 28838, the City Council’s Economic Development Committee is required to work with stakeholders and recommend any adjustments to the business license fees and tiers for 2025 and beyond. Such recommendation is due to the City Council by September 30, 2023. 


More information is available at cityoftacoma.org/taxandlicense.