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City Charter


"We, the people of the City of Tacoma, a city of the first class of the State of Washington, pursuant to the authority granted by the Constitution and Laws of the State of Washington, and in order to avail ourselves of all powers granted such cities and to obtain the benefits of local self-government, do hereby enact this Charter."


View the Current City Charter

Please note, Charter Review will take place during 2024. Click the button below for details: 

2024 Charter Review Process 


Charter History

The City Charter was prepared by a board of fifteen freeholders elected March 11, 1952. It was submitted to and adopted by the qualified electors at a special election held November 4, 1952. 

The Charter became effective June 1, 1953.

Amended November 4, 1958
Amended September 15, 1970
Amended September 18, 1973 
Amended November 6, 1979
Amended September 16, 1980
Amended November 8, 1983
Amended November 3, 1992
Amended November 2, 2004
Amended November 4, 2014

Explanatory Notes

The Charter of the City of Tacoma has, in some instances, been superseded by the adoption of state laws subsequent to the effective date of the Charter. In this compilation, references are made to those sections of state law which supersede this Charter, setting forth the Revised Code of Washington citation and a brief statement of the effect of the law.

Footnote references to the Charter as contained herein, such as, "see TMC Chapter 1.02," refer to the Official Code of the City of Tacoma duly adopted pursuant to the laws of the State of Washington and ordinances of the City of Tacoma.

Any questions or comments regarding the contents on this page should be forwarded to City Clerk's Office.