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Materials and Contract labor

“Materials” refers to items that become part of real property built or improved, such as lumber, concrete, paint, wiring, pipe, insulation, nails, screws, drywall, etc. This does not include consumable supplies, tools, or equipment rentals.

“Contract labor” refers to contractors and subcontractors hired to perform construction services. The purchase of contract labor refers to the total amount charged by a contractor or subcontractor.

Retail/Wholesale construction

“Retail/Wholesale construction” refers to the constructing, repairing, decorating, or improving of new or existing buildings or other structures under, upon, or above real property. Retail/ Wholesale construction does not include U.S. government contracting, public road construction, or speculative building.

Public road construction

“Public road construction” refers to a prime contractor or subcontractor building, repairing, or improving a roadway owned by the federal government, municipal corporation, or political subdivision. Public road construction does not include the building, repairing, or improving a roadway owned by the state of Washington; this is a retail/wholesale construction activity.

Purchases for Dual Purposes

If you don’t know at the time of purchase whether item(s) will be consumed or resold, you must purchase according to the general nature of your business.

  • If your business principally (more than 50 percent) consumes the item(s), you should not use a reseller permit for that purchase.
  • If your business principally resells the item(s), you may use a reseller permit and then report use tax on the item(s) consumed.

Speculative building

“Speculative building” refers to the construction of buildings for sale or rental by a person or entity upon real estate owned by that person or entity.

U.S. government contracting

“U.S. government contracting” refers to businesses performing construction or improvements to real property of, or for, the United States or a city/county housing authority. It includes construction and repairs to structures, clearing land, and moving earth.