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Square Footage Tax

Auburn City Code Chapter 3.53.040 

The square footage B&O tax was implemented to tax those businesses who lease, own, occupy, or otherwise maintain a warehouse or outdoor warehouse within the city for purposes of engaging in business activities in the city. There shall be a tax measured by the number of square feet of business warehouse floor space or outdoor warehouse space. The amount of the tax shall be equal to $0.10 for each quarterly period of a calendar year for each square foot of warehouse or outdoor warehouse floor space that is leased, owned, occupied, or otherwise maintained within the city during the reporting period, calculated to the nearest square foot.

Square Footage B&O Tax Threshold:

The square footage tax imposed in subsection ACC 3.53.040 (B) of shall not apply to any person unless that person’s total area of business space within the city exceeds one of the following thresholds:

a. Four thousand taxable square feet of business warehouse space; or
b. Two hundred sixty-one thousand three hundred sixty taxable square feet (six acres) of outdoor warehouse space; 

The square footage B&O tax is reported under the Square Footage Tax Classification on the multi-purpose tax return Section 2. If Square Footage tax is less than or equal to the B&O Gross Receipts tax (Section 1), no square footage B&O tax is due. City B&O tax imposed only on one of those two B&O taxes – whichever is higher!

This rate may be reviewed annually to reflect the effects of inflation or deflation on the local economy. If the taxable square footage changed during the reporting period, provide an explanation in writing and enclose with your tax return.


“Warehouse” means a building or structure, or any part thereof, in which goods, wares, merchandise, or commodities are received or stored, whether or not for compensation, in furtherance of engaging in business.

Included in measuring:

  • the inside finish of permanent outer building walls and
  • shall include space used by columns and projections necessary to the building.

Not included in measuring:

  • stairs
  • elevator shafts
  • flues
  • pipe shafts
  • vertical ducts
  • heating or ventilation shafts
  • janitor closets
  • electrical or utility closets.

“Outdoor warehouse” means an area that is outdoors and is primarily used for the storage of merchandise, goods, inventory, materials or equipment or other items, which are not intended for immediate sale, whether or not for compensation, in furtherance of engaging in business.

Included in measuring:

  • areas used for the receipt or storage of goods, wares, merchandise, or commodities that are being received and temporarily stored, whether or not for compensation, in furtherance of engaging in business.

Not included in measuring:

  • areas used only for employee, customer, or visitor parking
  • dock high loading areas used primarily for a business warehouse
  • buildings
  • areas used only for direct sales or rentals to consumers
  • landscaped areas
  • storm water facilities
  • maneuvering areas and drive aisles
  • areas used only for garbage or recycling pickup
  • rights-of-way, or other areas clearly not used for the temporary storage of goods, wares, merchandise, and commodities in transit
  • outdoor areas used for storage of agricultural products