There are other regional, state, and federal laws that govern some of the services that the county provides.
In some ways, you can almost think of our county as a “branch office” of both the state of Washington and the federal government. We exist partially to supply the service needs of our residents that are required, or mandated, by these jurisdictions. This includes such things as roads, clean water, growth management, and elections.
Sometimes federal or state governments provide money to pay for the mandated programs, but often the county has to find the funds to pay for some of the services required by law.
There is no one single pot of county tax dollars. Money is often legally dedicated to certain uses. For example, we can’t dip into the road maintenance fund to pay for children’s mental health services. In fact, usually about 80 percent of the county’s budget has strings attached.