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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

"Four years ago, I said if we are willing to embrace new ideas and new approaches, we can bring reform to County government consistent with our values. Here is the commitment we made: We would bring down costs to the level of inflation plus population growth, by innovating and creating efficiencies, so that services could be maintained if the people supported revenues to make up the difference.

The voters stepped up with support for the Veterans and Human Services Levy, the Children and Family Justice Center and, most recently, with 70 percent approval of the Parks Levy.  We did what we said we would do, and more. Today, as a result, I can propose a budget that is balanced, that sustains functions essential to our people, and that restores some critical services lost in the recession."

-King County Executive, Dow Constantine 

2014 Proposed Budget

2014 Adopted Budget Executive Summary

2014 CIP Book

Mid-Biennial Review Section

Executive Constantine's 2013/2014 two year budget is ­­­­$9.0 billion

The 2014 Proposed Budget focuses on funds and agencies with annual budgets for 2013, including the General Fund, Public Health, the Parks Division of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks, and a few internal service agencies.  King County is in the process of gradually moving to a biennial (two-year) budget. Most funds and agencies have biennial budgets for 2013/2014 that were adopted in November 2012. With few exceptions, no changes to these biennial budgets are proposed at this time.

Proposed Budget Highlights

  • The total 2014 Proposed General Fund Budget is $714.4 million with 4,294 FTEs which includes the addition of 336 public defenders.
  • The 2014 Proposed Budget funds most County programs at 2013 levels and includes a small number of service restorations and new initiatives.
  • The long term financial outlook of the General Fund has improved over the past five years primarily as a result of reducing the cost growth curve from approximately 5.0 to 3.5 percent annually.

Some significant proposals in the 2014 budget include:

  • The Maple Valley Precinct is reopened.  This precinct, which serves the southeastern portion of King County, was closed two years ago as part of a new deployment approach for the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO). However, Sheriff John Urquhart requested that it be reopened because alternative facilities, including holding cells, have not been available.
  • Four additional uniformed staff are added to the KCSO.  Sheriff’s staffing has been significantly reduced over the last decade. The 2014 Proposed Budget includes funding for three new patrol deputies and a sergeant. It also includes funding for a public records manager to ensure the Sheriff’s Office provides timely and complete responses to such requests.
  • The next phase of the Health and Human Potential (HHP) transformation plan is implemented.  Health and human services are currently delivered in a decentralized manner that often requires clients to navigate a complex array of providers and locations. The HHP transformation effort is a joint endeavor of King County and many service providers to develop a more client-centric model for service delivery.
  • Several additional positions are included in the 2014 Proposed Budget to broaden the application of Lean. A wide variety of Lean activities have been conducted in 2012 and 2013. Perhaps the most notable recent project was the psychiatric services array project conducted by the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD) and the Jail Health Services Division of Public Health. Staff from these agencies collaborated to review how to best serve patients in the jail with psychiatric issues. The team determined that a net of about $1.2 million could be saved while actually improving service to the inmate-patients. Other Lean efforts have resulted in service improvements rather than cost savings, including faster processing of licenses and faster tabulation of election ballots.
  • Staffing is provided for the Regional Veterans Initiative.  King County is the home of about 127,000 veterans. Services for these veterans are often uncoordinated and hard to access. Earlier in 2013, Executive Constantine called for an effort to better link these services and asked three prominent veterans to lead a planning effort toward that end.
  • Several steps to advance the “Employer of the Future” work are funded.  Employer of the Future is an effort to develop human resources policies, employment practices, and labor contracts that reflect best practices in this era. This is an outgrowth of the KCSP’s “Quality Workforce” goal.
  • MIDD programs are continued. The Mental Illness and Drug Dependency Fund is supported by a 0.1 percent sales tax. It funds a variety of human service and criminal justice programs to assist people with mental illnesses or drug dependency.
  • Courthouse services hours are restored.  As part of the significant budget reductions required in 2011, the Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) eliminated service counter hours during lunchtime. The 2014 Proposed Budget restores partial noontime services at the King County Courthouse and the Maleng Regional Justice Center.

King County Strategic Plan (KCSP):  The KCSP guides County policy, management, and financial decisions: 

  • Efficiencies:  The 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.

2014 Revenue sources for general fund

$692 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.