Rural County Business & Occupation Tax Credit

A $2,000 or $4,000 credit against the B&O tax is available for each new employment position created by a qualifying manufacturer.

This fund is directed by the local people of Lewis County for qualifying public facilities improvements.

2020 – Application



An excellent state program to provide loan and grant funding for public improvements needed to serve industry.

Community Economic Revitalization Board


Education & Training Grants

Both Federal and State programs are available to help in recruitment and training of new workers.


Sales and Use Tax Exemption on Machinery & Equipment

For qualifying manufacturers, processors for hire, and manufacturers who perform research and development are not required to pay the sales or use tax on machinery and equipment used directly in the manufacturing or research and development process. Charges for labor and services for installing machinery and equipment are also not subject to the sales or use tax. Major distribution centers, over 200,000 sq. ft. also qualify for sales and use exemptions.

Manufacturers’ Sales/Use Tax Exemption

Sales and Use Tax Deferral for Manufacturers

The Rural County Sales/Use Tax Deferral Program grants a deferral of sales/use tax for manufacturing, and computer-related businesses, research and development laboratories, and commercial testing facilities (excluding light and power businesses) locating in rural counties. The sales and/or use taxes on qualified construction and equipment costs for such businesses located in these specific geographic areas are waived when all program requirements have been met and verified.

Logistics & Transportation


Lewis County is located on Interstate 5 midway between Portland and Seattle. In addition, U.S. Highway 12 is one of two major east/west transportation corridors in Washington State. Lewis County is home to several transportation companies including Sorensen Trucking with routes to: Los Angeles, Boise, Salt Lake, and Phoenix.

Portland 85 miles San Francisco 721 miles
Seattle 85 miles Salt Lake City 844 miles
Vancouver B.C. 229 miles Los Angeles 1,048 miles
Boise 508 miles

Deep Water Ports

The Port of Tacoma, 54 miles north of Chehalis, provides containerized cargo, roll-on/roll-off, bulk, breakbulk, and heavy-lift cargoes. The Port of Olympia, 20 miles north of Chehalis provides break bulk shipping.

Other ports that may serve your needs are the:

Port of Olympia          Port of Longview          Port of Kalama         Port of Seattle


The Chehalis-Centralia Airport is a general aviation airport which can meet most corporate needs. The airport has a LPV approach allowing for operations throughout the year. A full pilot lounge is available to pilots and crew in addition to a courtesy car. Full-service jet fuel is available along with self-service AVGAS. There are 10 conventional hangers and 48 tee hangers and recently a project for a runway viewing area was completed for families to come and enjoy the air traffic.

Approximately 80 miles to the North is the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and approximately 80 miles south is the Portland International Airport. Both of these airports have three main runways and should meet any international needs.


All major railroads serve Lewis County. We have connections to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), Union Pacific (UP), PSAP, and Tacoma Rail. There are rail reloading facilities in Centralia, Chehalis, as well as other additional sites.

Department of Transportation: Information

Washington State Incentive Programs



Centralia 17,216
Chehalis 7,734
Unincorporated 45,475
Lewis County 81,845

Labor Force – 2020

In-Commute: Thurston County 8,737
Reside & Work in County 11,190
Out-Commute: County 17,680
Unemployed 2,169
Unemployment Rate – 2020 7.1%

Average Annual Wages – 2020

Manufacturing $60,469
Public Administration $61,199
Healthcare & Social Assistance $49,938
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting $36,822

Major Local and State Taxes – 2020

Sales Tax (Incorporated) 8.2%
Sales Tax (Unincorporated) 7.8%
WA B&O Tax (Most Manufacturers) $.00484
Property Tax (Industrial) $11.36


No corporate income tax No inventory tax
No personal income tax No unitary tax
Providence Hospital Health Care – 800
Fred Meyer Distribution Center Distribution Center – 400
UNFI Food Distribution – 300
Hampton Lumber Mills Sawmill – 296
Cardinal Glass Corporation Glass Manufacturing – 241
Centralia College 2-yr. community/technical college
Centralia College 4-yr. business degree

Key Industries


Lewis County has always been very competitive to logistics companies due to our location halfway between Seattle & Portland. Several large and prominent companies have set up their distribution centers here: Fred Meyer, Michaels, and Lowes. In addition the area is home to several trucking companies such as Lund TruckingSorenson Trucking, and J.J. Sauter Trucking.

Wood Products

Lewis County is located in the wood basket and is one of the largest timber producing counties in the Northwest. Our largest wood manufacturers are Cascade HardwoodsNorthwest Hardwoods, and Hardel Mutual Plywood. Our wood products include douglas fir, hemlock, maple, and alder. Our total forest area is greater than 1,374,647 acres.


Two major highways and four major railroads make us a competitive location for manufacturing. We have companies that produce float glasstempered glassplastic pipingnetting, and specialized composites. In addition, Lewis County is home to companies that produce chemicals for power plant operations as well as companies that recycle carbon.


Lewis County is home to many large energy players in Washington State. TransAlta operates a coal plant north of Centralia. Chehalis Power, a division of PacifiCorp, operates a natural gas plant in Chehalis. Tacoma Power provides electricity to Tacoma through its hydro plant in our county. The Lewis County PUD operates a hydro plant and has low rates compared to neighboring counties. BPA Transmission has a major line and regional substation running through Lewis County.


Providence Centralia Hospital employs 800 people with roots dating back to 1856 when the first Catholic nuns came out west to serve the poor. Providences’ teams are trained in lymphedema therapy, neurological therapy, occupational therapy, pediatric therapy, speech therapy, chemotherapy, wound care, and oncology. In addition, their diagnostic imaging services include: breast specific gamma imaging, digital mammograms, bone density screenings, CT-Scans, X-Rays, digital radiology, fluoroscopy, MRIs, nuclear medical exams, and ultrasound

Food Processing

Lewis County is home to major food processing companies as well as niche agricultural farms. National Frozen Foods pioneered the process to freeze and store vegetables in the 1920s. Today they run a highly automated system using robotics to process and package food. Callisons Inc. is the largest mint oil processor in the world with products in oral care, confectionaries, and gum. Darigold produces dry milks and supplies them throughout the world.


We have a major north-south fiber link with multiple fiber lines that are available for access on a wholesale level. We are also served by various ISP’s and wireless carriers. Toledo Tel is a local ISP that offers phone and data services. We have a number of computer and technology based companies that operate competitively in our area.

Development Partners