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Performance, Strategy and Budget

Office of the Executive

Mailling Address:

Performance, Strategy and Budget
Chinook Office Building
401 Fifth Ave, Suite 810
Seattle, WA 98104

Phone:  (206) 263-8494 
Fax:  (206) 263-3462
TTY Relay: 711

King County Budget

Our reform agenda is this: if we can provide the same level of service with just three percent less growth in costs, assuming no outside impacts, we can create a government that is sustainable over time and lives within its means. Thanks to the actions we’ve taken over the past three years, and more we’re taking in this budget, it is working.

-King County Executive, Dow Constantine

Executive Constantine's 2013/2014 proposed biennial budget is ­­­­$7.6 billion

Most County agencies will have biennial (two-year) budgets in the 2013/2014 cycle.  The General Fund, Public Health and remaining agencies will transition to biennial budgets in the 2015/2016 cycle.

General Fund highlights

  • The total 2013 Proposed General Fund budget is $684 million with 3,955 FTEs.  The Proposed Budget is $3.5 million more than the 2012 Adopted Budget.
  • Early  projections showed the 2013 General Fund budget gap at about $20 million.  The gap was closed through a combination of operational efficiencies, workload reductions, employee benefit savings, lower internal service rates, and one-time savings from debt service.

Non-General Fund highlights

  • Road Service Division: The 2013/2014 Proposed Budget for Roads is $189 million, which is far less than what is needed to maintain the current quality of the County’s roads, let alone enhancing quality or capacity.  In 2014, the Roads budget will be 40% less than it was in 2008.
  • Metro Transit:  The expiration of the $20 Congestion Reduction Charge in mid-2014 will result in significant service reductions beginning in the fall of 2014, unless the State Legislature authorizes a permanent revenue source.
  • Public Health:  In anticipation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, Public Health will redirect some funds to maintain current programs, such as anti-smoking and obesity prevention, that are losing grant funding. This strategy avoids the cost and disruption of ramping the programs down and then back up.
  • Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD):  MIDD has been drawing down fund balance to support programs, meaning annual spending exceeds current revenues.  This will no longer be sustainable in 2014 and new revenues, spending reductions, efficiencies, and/or cost shift to other funds will be needed.

Countywide strategies

  • King County Strategic Plan (KCSP):  The KCSP guides County policy, management, and financial decisions.
  • 3% Efficiency:  The 3% strategy is to find efficiencies every year to bring cost growth in line with inflation plus population growth.
  • Lean:  The County has adopted the Lean approach, pioneered by Toyota, as a means for streamlining operations and improving customer service.
  • Energy:  The County’s Energy Plan provides a roadmap for how the County can reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Equity and Social Justice (ESJ):  The County intentionally integrates the principle of “fair and just” in all it does, from hiring practices, to providing services, to making budget decisions.

Explore 2013/2014 proposed budget details

The 2013 Proposed Budget continues the shift to a "product" focus, where a product is a specific service an agency provides. The Executive's goal is to have most or all County agencies using product-based budgets by 2014 as part of a revised business planning process.

2013/2014 Biennial budget $7.6 billion

2013 Annual only
$1.2 Billion
Annual budgets
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2013/2014 Biennial only
$6.5 Billion
biennial budget
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The County is in the a transition year as we move from annual funds to biennial funds. This year's budget data will include some items still on the old annual fund cycle, as well as those that have been moved to a biennial cycle.

2013 General fund by service

2013 General Fund by service
$684 Million

The County's only truly flexible source of money is the General Fund. The 2013 Proposed Budget for the General Fund totals $684 million.

The General Fund supports the traditional function of county government in Washington State, including the Sheriff's Office, Superior and District Courts, the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, public defense, corrections, the Assessor's Office, Elections, and various administrative functions.

This visualization examines the General Fund by service category.

2013/2014 Capital Improvements

2013/2014 Capital Improvements 
$1.2 Billion

The 2013/2014 King County proposed capital program includes $1.2 Billion of budget authority for capital projects. 

2013 Revenue sources for general fund

2013 Revenue sources
$676.6 Million

Regional economic conditions have substantial effects on King County's revenues, notably the sales tax. King County receives sales tax revenues in several funds, with the largest amounts for the General Fund and transit.This visualization shows all the revenue sources in the General Fund.