Washoe County


The Washoe County area is outwardly pro-business and continues to expand as numerous large name industries and corporations call the area home.

With a population of approximately 409,000 the area offers the essence of a close-knit community while offering the amenities available in a big city. High quality of life is enhanced by quality education. The area enjoys four complete seasons which enhance the multitude of activities in the area.

Citizens enjoy cultural events, excellent public services, and boundless recreational opportunities including nearby skiing, fishing, hiking and boating just to name a few.

The Washoe County area is also the land of special events with dozens of annual celebrations such as the Reno Rodeo, the Great Reno Balloon Races, the Reno Air Races, and Hot August Nights. In addition to Reno and Sparks, Washoe County is also home to Crystal Bay, Empire, Gerlach, Incline Village, Nixon, Sun Valley, Verdi, Vya, and Wadsworth.

Reno, the county seat, is the third largest city in Nevada and has been long known as the "Biggest Little City in the World," but Reno has also gained a new title as "America's Adventure Place" and serves as a hub for a wide variety of outdoor recreation activities ranging from mountain biking to rock climbing. Reno is also the home of the University of Nevada, Reno, the world-class Nevada Museum of Art, and the National Automobile Museum.

Once a railroad town, Sparks has grown into a vacation destination with a world-class hotel resort, the Wild Island water park, championship golf courses and the Sparks Marina. Victorian Square, in the center of Sparks, is a picturesque shopping/casino/restaurant district that incorporates a 19th century Victorian theme.


The incentives of doing business in Nevada are expansive. Nevada boasts one of the most liberal tax structures in the nation and from a tax-planning perspective, the return on investment in the form of tax saving dollars can be enormous.



Sales Tax Rate

In Washoe County, the sales tax rate is 7.725.

Property Tax Rate

In Washoe County, the 2009-10 average county wide tax rate is 3.5767.

Calculating Real Property Taxes

The formula for calculating real property tax is as follows:

  • Taxable Value x .35 = Assessed Value
  • Assessed Value x Tax Rate = Total Real Property Tax

For more information, please see How Property Taxes are Calculated.

Calculating Personal Property Taxes

Using the Cost Conversion Factor tables in the Personal Property Manual, use the following formula to calculate the assessed value. The assessed value is the value on which taxes are calculated.

  • Actual Cost x Cost Index (for appropriate year) = Cost of Replacement
  • Cost of Replacement x Percent Good = Taxable Value
  • Taxable Value x .35 = Assessed Value
  • Assessed Value x Tax Rate = Total Personal Property Tax



Year Population
2008 423,833
2007 418,061
2006 409,085
2005 396,844
2004 383,453

Source: Nevada State Demographer

Population within the Cities of Washoe County

City Year Population City Year Population
Reno 2008 223,012 Sparks 2008 91,684
2007 220,613 2007 89,449
2006 214,371 2006 87,846
2005 206,735 2005 85,618
2004 199,249 2004 81,673

Source: State of Nevada Demographer

Gender Composition

Year Est Population Male Female
# % # %
2007 406,079 206,413 50.8 199,666 49.2
2006 396,428 201,191 50.8 195,237 49.2
2005 384,462 193,681 50.4 190,781 49.6
2004 375,344 192,885 51.4 182,459 48.6
2003 365,443 181,912 49.8 183,531 50.2

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey



Year Labor Force Employed Unemployed Unemployment
Rate (Local)
2009 225,333 210,082 26,439 11.8
2008 231,840 216,069 15,771 6.8
2007 226,326 215,892 10,434 4.6
2006 216,078 207,510 8,568 4.0
2005 209,834 201,670 8,164 3.9

Source: Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR)

Job Growth Numbers

Reno MSA Number of Employed % Job Growth
2009 196,300 -6.3
2008 209,600 -6.5
2007 224,200 0.4
2006 223,300 3.7
2005 215,400 3.3

Source: Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR)