Page 1



a place people are proud to call




EXECUTIVE MESSAGE Pierce County confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 6, 2020. Since then, we have battled to contain the virus and respond to its destructive effects. I am proud of our response to the emergency. We tested and vaccinated our residents. We supported struggling small businesses. And we helped people keep food on their table and a roof over their heads. This proposed budget supports our continued emergency response, but its primary focus is on strengthening our communities long-term. Our top priority is public safety and justice. This budget makes key investments in our Sheriff’s Department to hire more deputies, build community trust, and support the wellness of our law enforcement officers. We also propose a new mental health court and adding a new team of behavioral health professionals to respond to non-criminal calls for help. Another critical priority is addressing homelessness and housing instability. This budget creates more shelter and affordable housing on a scale that is unprecedented in Pierce County. Funding is provided so people on the street have a safe place to go and the support they need to stay housed. For the encampments left behind, resources are provided to clean them up. With this budget, we continue to make Pierce County a place people are proud to call home. We make key investments in a variety of areas, ranging from environmental sustainability and equity to new infrastructure and economic development. I encourage you to read the details in the pages that follow. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Sincerely,

Bruce F. Dammeier Pierce County Executive 3

Vibrant Communities


People have confidence they are safe and will be treated fairly.

Most County funding is dedicated to keeping residents safe, equitably administering criminal justice, and staying accountable to County residents. This portion of the 2022-2023 biennial budget supports law enforcement, the courts and the Prosecutors’ Office, and addresses rising crime levels while increasing transparency and accountability to residents. SUPPORT AND TRANSPARENCY Our Sheriff’s deputies face complex health challenges, including post-traumatic stress. Adding a wellness program manager is intended to reduce workplace injuries. The budget also includes more supervisory support in response to the increasing complexity of policing. To promote equitable justice and build community trust, the budget finishes the deployment of bodyworn and dashboard cameras in the Sheriff’s Department. A new internal affairs detective is also added to ensure citizen

complaints are appropriately investigated and acted upon. RAPID RESPONSE TEAM Creating a new Rapid Response Team of five behavioral health professionals managed by Human Services and adding another co-responder provides law enforcement options for effective and compassionate responses to non-criminal situations in our community. INCREASING SERVICES Additional investments in fostering safe and just communities include creating a new Mental Health Court managed by District Court, funding an Anti-Human Trafficking awareness campaign, adding a criminal diversion

program manager in the Clerk’s Office, and increasing financial support of the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center for domestic violence survivors.

PUBLIC SAFETY & JUSTICE FACILITIES The Sheriff’s Department’s Mountain Detachment currently works out of the basement of the Eatonville City Hall. The budget includes nearly $5 million to build a safe, new Foothills Detachment precinct that can better serve the community. The budget also includes funds to expand court operations in the County-City Building and relocate administrative staff from the courthouse to a nearby facility.



Construction of the new Mountain Detachment


Body Cam and Dash Cam project 4


Blighted Property Maintenance Fund


Five new positions for the Rapid Response Team


Law and Justice Center renovations at the CCB


Four new positions in the Sheriff’s Department

HEALTHY & HAPPY PEOPLE Residents live long, fulfilling lives.



Partner to create a “Blue Zone” to improve wellness and longevity


ADA accessibility in Pierce County Parks


14 new positions supporting Aging and Disability Resources

If the last 18 months have taught us anything, we have learned the importance of taking care of our physical and mental health. A large portion of the proposed biennial budget is devoted to helping County residents live their healthiest and happiest lives. COVID-19 RESPONSE & RECOVERY The budget continues funds to combat the COVID virus through ongoing testing and vaccination efforts. View the full American Rescue Plan Act Spending Plan at


COVID-19 Testing



Asia Pacific Cultural Center capital contribution

IMPROVING LONGEVITY AND WELLNESS To help foster healthier lifestyles, Pierce County intends to partner with healthcare providers and the community to create a “Blue Zone,” or region where resident longevity and wellness are improved and measured. TRAILS AND ACCESSIBILITY Pierce County Parks are stewards to miles of trails and many varied and accessible parks, and the biennial budget has funds directed to expanding, improving, and maintaining those treasured spaces, including 7.6 miles of new trail. In addition, Parks plans to add staff to its recreation programs for adults and youth with special needs, and ADA enhancements will be made to properties in the Parks system.


Support for isolation and quarantine


PPE Warehouse


Expand behavioral health services


Trail system expansion and maintenance

Other Public Health Emergency Response Costs

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH The budget supports added investments of nearly $27 million to expand behavioral health services in Pierce County. 5

Vibrant Communities

CLEAN, SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT Current and future generations enjoy clean air, clean water, and a healthy natural world.



Consulting services for endangered species and critical areas


Accelerate electric vehicle purchases


Funding to support the Sustainability Plan


Planner to protect water quality


Funding to support carbon sequestration through better forest management


Open space preservation, repairing habitats, and environmental protection

SUSTAINABILITY 2030 Pierce County is committed to ensuring residents today - and tomorrow - have a clean and healthy place to live. Key to delivering on that commitment is the implementation of the Sustainability 2030 Plan. The plan outlines a ten-year goal and actions to take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Pierce County government operations and the larger community. FUTURE GENERATIONS The proposed biennial budget includes funding for several key elements of the plan, including further electrifying the County’s transportation infrastructure. Funds are also directed to removing fish passage barriers and increasing efforts to preserve open space and farmland. To ensure that decisions and actions are inclusive to all, the budget includes funds to conduct an environmental equity assessment.


ATTAINABLE HOUSING Everyone has access to a safe and affordable place to live.

ATTAINABLE HOUSING No resident of Pierce County should be without a clean, safe place to live. To that end, the proposed biennial budget directs nearly $100 million to help people move into an affordable place to call home. ENDING HOMELESSNESS Key elements of our plan include expanding shelter availability, providing on-site behavioral health and vocational services, developing and preserving affordable housing options, and cleaning up the encampments left behind.

Resolution R2021-30s Established the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness. $26.2M ARPA funding for shelter expansion and homeless services.

These resources will more than double the number of available shelter beds. This includes nobarrier and low-barrier options that encourage shelter residents to take on more responsibility and independence over time to advance to permanent housing. The goal of the shelter model is to instill confidence, life skills, stability, and dignity so that all residents can realize their full potential. COMMUNITY FIRST The budget also focuses on developing affordable permanent housing, including purchasing land to create a supportive housing community. This development will be based on a “Community First” restorative model that focuses on trusted relationships and a family-like environment. Up to 500 chronically homeless individuals would live in “tiny homes” or sanctioned RVs,

with supportive services and opportunities to earn income. Funds to preserve the existing supply of affordable housing are also included in the budget proposal.

This budget enhances and expands the County’s involvement in the new South Sound Housing Affordability Partners (SSHAP), a collaborative effort with area cities, towns, and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians to create more attainable housing.



ARPA funding for shelter expansion and homeless services


Funding to support the Affordable Housing Fee Waiver Program


Two positions to support South Sound Housing Affordability Partners (SSHAP)


Emergency Rental Assistance Program


ARPA funding to develop and preserve affordable housing


ARPA funding for affordable housing land aquistion 7

Entrepreneurial Climate

JOBS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP People start and grow businesses and are employed here.

As the economy struggles to rebound from the impact of COVID, creating a positive and supportive environment for businesses to survive and thrive is critical. ACCELERATING BUSINESS A key tool for creating new jobs and encouraging people to create new businesses is an ARPA-funded initiative to foster entrepreneurship among residents who are Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC), including in rural locations in the County. Bringing economic opportunity and prosperity to all ensures a stronger and healthier community. SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT Another initiative to foster business and job growth is helping small businesses adapt to the changing marketplace. ARPA funds will be used to provide professional services, such as accounting and graphic design, to help our smallest businesses grow and create jobs.


Employers in Pierce County


Workforce Employed in Pierce County


Unemployment Rate

In addition, a focus to reduce the time from permit review to issuance is funded in the Executive’s proposed budget. Photo: Campfire Coffee | Alma Mater



ARPA funding for Entrepreneurship and Technical Assistance Grants 8


ARPA funding for the Pierce County Community Navigator Program


ARPA funding for professional services for small businesses


ARPA funding for Innovation Grants

RELIABLE & ACCESSIBLE INFRASTRUCTURE People have confidence in and access to high-quality infrastructure throughout the County.



ARPA funding for sewer improvements and expansion


ARPA funding for broadband partnerships

BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY When student learning during the pandemic went from taking place in classrooms to kitchens and living rooms became home offices, the gap in internet connectivity and access became clearer and more distressing. Creating equitable broadband connectivity across the County is featured in the biennial budget and is funded via ARPA money.


ARPA funding for sewer plant solar energy efficiency

IMPROVING MOBILITY Another key aspect of underlying infrastructure is ensuring goods, services, and people can move efficiently and easily from one point to another. To that end, the budget provides an additional $5.9 million in ongoing resources to maintain high quality roads. Resources are also provided to expand Canyon Road North to improve freight mobility between Frederickson and the Port of Tacoma.

RELIABLE INFRASTRUCTURE Providing reliable roads in good condition and safely operating wastewater treatment plants are some of the basic but critical ways Pierce County supports its residents.

$83.1M Road projects


Storm drainage and surface water projects

$74.5M Sewer projects

Visit to learn about capital projects in your community. 9

Entrepreneurial Climate

SKILLED WORKFORCE Businesses have access to skilled and trained employees.

Pierce County is working with community partners to help businesses have access to skilled and trained employees. WASHINGTON SERVICE CORPS ARPA funds in the budget have been earmarked for the Washington Service Corps, an AmeriCorps affiliate. Corps members help local non-profits, schools, government agencies, tribal nations, and faith-based organizations meet community needs in a variety of fields, including environmental stewardship, education, health, disaster preparedness, and financial literacy. PUGET SOUND TAXPAYER ACCOUNTABILITY ACCOUNT (PSTAA) FUNDS PSTAA funds have been allocated to strengthen access and availability to childcare, and behavioral and mental health services in our community. By partnering with local colleges and health care providers, we will expand access to early childhood education and mental and behavioral health training programs. PSTAA funds would also expand clinical medical, dental, and nursing programs, and STEM classes, particularly for students from underserved communities.



ARPA funding for Workforce Development Programs



Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account (PSTAA) funds


Washington Service Corps

Effective Government

REGIONAL LEADERSHIP AND TRIBAL PARTNERSHIP Pierce County positively influences others in the region.



Position to support boards and commissions

ELECTIONS CENTER Regional Leadership and Tribal Partnership are key components of our strategic plan. One critical regional service Pierce County provides is elections administration. To accommodate increased population and voter turnout, this budget provides resources to move the Elections Center to a more functional and accessible location. This will improve registration, ballot processing and security, and other voter services.


Support for new elections center


Support for PALS+ regionalization costs

TRIBAL PARTNERSHIPS Funds have been allocated to increase the County’s engagement and collaboration with four local tribes: the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Nisqually Tribe, The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, and the Squaxin Island Tribe. There are many important aspects of government-to-government relations that benefit from respectful cooperation with these sovereign nations, including vital environmental priorities.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS The budget continues staffing to support the long-range Carbon River Corridor Recreation Area plan. The project will consider preservation as well as potential development near the area between the Town of Wilkeson and the Carbon River entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. 11

Effective Government

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR RESULTS AND CUSTOMER FOCUSED SERVICES DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION This budget adds new diversity, equity, and inclusion analysts to ensure County services are delivered equitably and barriers to equity are identified and addressed. These positions will complement the work requested by Council Resolutions 2021-108s and 2021-109.

One of these projects is the launch of a Pierce County Works portal that allows residents to report and track reports of issues from potholes to nuisance properties via mobile devices. Other online selfservice upgrades are also included in the budget.

RECORDS MANAGEMENT Additional projects will allow better access to reports and documents. For example, all paper case files in the Medical Examiner’s Office and file copies in Planning and Public Works will be converted to digital formats. In addition, the Assessor’s Office is replacing its property tax system.

OPEN PIERCE COUNTY MODERNIZING BUILDINGS Reflecting a portfolio of older County office buildings and shifts in how employees work together, several remodel and renovation projects are provided for in the budget.

The Open Pierce County website has brought unprecedented visibility of the County’s operations to residents and other interested stakeholders. The budget includes several projects designed to make it easier and more convenient for residents to get what they need from the County.



Two positions and IT costs to create an Equity Index


Support for increased tort litigation workload



Digitization of County records


Evaluate SeeClickFix integration with other Pierce County services


Position to support video production


Tenant improvements of various Pierce County facilities


Our employees are productive, innovative, and reflect the communities we serve.



Positions for classification and compensation study implementation


LinkedIn Learning and Talent Management platforms



New system to streamline recruiting process

Veterans Employed by Pierce County


Employees of Color


Incentives for law enforcement hiring


Female Employees

WORKPLACE EQUITY The County has been implementing a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative for several years. The budget proposal for the next two years includes funding to broaden and enhance the work that is underway to foster a welcoming, respectful, and rewarding workplace for everyone. INTERSHIP PROGRAM An expanded internship program will provide valuable learning opportunities for young adults of color in the County and create a potential path to full-time employment. CONTINUED LEARNING With the goal of continuous learning for County employees, the budget also includes support for a broad suite of online learning classes and an expanded leadership development program. Fostering a learning environment contributes to why more than 88% of County employees would recommend Pierce County as a great place to work. As the County is experiencing a sizable number of employees completing their careers and retiring, the budget includes support for planned knowledge transfer, cross training, and workload surges.


FINANCIAL OVERVIEW Since 2011, the General Fund has declined as a percentage of the total budget from 33.0% in 2012-13 to a projected level of 29.0% in 2022-23. This is due to the level of major construction activity, the issuance of bonds (or bond refinancing), and the limitation of property tax increasing at an annual rate of 1% plus the value of new construction and improvements. The total budget for the 2020-21 Biennium increased substantially because of the inclusion of the federal funds provided to the County to respond to COVID-19.

General Fund

All Others

$2.5B $2B $1.5B $1B $500M 0

2012-13 2014-15 2016-17 2018-19 2020-21 2022-23




Property Tax


Sales Tax


Other Taxes


Charges for Service


Fines and Forfeitures


Licenses & Permits




Transfers In




Use of Fund Balance





$2.97B General Fund


Special Revenue Funds


Salaries & Benefits


Debt Service Funds


Supplies & Services


Capital Project Funds


Debt Service


Capital Expenditures




Transfers Out


Enterprise Funds $408M


Internal Service Funds


Tacoma-Pierce County Health Dept.




Pierce County is home to an estimated 917,000 people, the second largest county in Washington. Approximately 52.7% of Pierce County residents live in cities and towns.

Median Age

Median Income


$78.5K In 2021, median household income in Pierce County increased by 5%.

In the last decade the median age has increased 5.7%.



MINORITY Resident Diversity Race/Ethnicity


Resident Gender Diversity


Median Home Price

439K Employment Total

402K 402,190 residents are employed.

of County Roads in Good or Fair Condition

Unemployment Rate

5.1% 2021

Learn more at 15

Profile for Pierce County

2022-2023 Biennial Budget Executive Summary  

See how Pierce County is prioritizing safe and just communities, healthy and happy people, clean sustainable environment, attainable housing...

2022-2023 Biennial Budget Executive Summary  

See how Pierce County is prioritizing safe and just communities, healthy and happy people, clean sustainable environment, attainable housing...

Profile for pierceco

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded