In addition to county laws, regional, state and federal laws also govern some services the county provides.
In some ways, you can think of our county as a “branch office” of both the state and federal governments. The county exists partially to supply services required by these jurisdictions. The services include roads, clean water, growth management and elections.
Sometimes federal or state governments provide money to pay for the required programs. But often the county must pay for services mandated by law.
The county budget is comprised of numerous funds; there is no single pot of county tax dollars. Money often is legally dedicated to certain uses. For example, the county can’t dip into the road maintenance fund to pay for children’s mental health services. In fact, about 80 percent of the county’s budget has strings attached.