Council Priorities and Budget

Creating the biennial budget

Pierce County 2022-2023 Biennial Budget banner


Paul Bocchi

Senior Budget Analyst

Office of the Pierce County Council




One of the primary duties of the Pierce County Council is "to levy taxes, appropriate revenue, and adopt budgets for the County," (Charter, Section 2.20 (1)(a)).The Council adopts a biennial budget by Dec. 1 of each year ending in an odd number.


Pierce County uses the biennial operating budget to monitor revenue and expenses, and to improve financial management and strategic planning. 

The budget is the single most important document the Pierce County Council uses to oversee the delivery of services, programs and resources to Pierce County residents. The budget is the official financial plan for the county. Between biennial budgets, the Council may consider supplemental budgets and other budget changes, such as provisos and companion budget proposals.

Steps outlining how the biennial budget is crafted

2022-23 Council Budget Process

Council kicked off its 2022-2023 Biennial Budget process April 15 with a Special Study Session. The meeting introduced new members to the biennial budget planning process and began discussion around meeting Council's identified 2021 priorities through budget planning. A second meeting was held April 16 to continue the conversation. 

View the budget slides presented at the April 15 meeting.

On Sept. 21 Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier presented his proposed 2022-2023 Biennial Budget to Council. Find the proposed budget, including an abbreviated executive summary, online.

Council held four Special Study Sessions before kicking off a series of Committee of the Whole meetings to review and discuss the proposed 2022-2023 budget. 

After approving a series of amendments, Council adopted a final 2022-2023 Biennial Budget at its Nov. 23, 2021 meeting. Read more

The budget now goes to the Executive for signature before taking effect Jan. 1, 2022.

2022-2023 Biennial Budget planning meetings

Proposal R2021-128 adopted by the Pierce County Council on Aug. 10, 2021 established the following meeting dates and times to review the proposed 2022-2023 Biennial Budget.

Biennial Budget planning retreats (special study sessions)

The tentative committee meeting schedule is listed below and is subject to change without notice. Find the official weekly meeting schedule here.

Meeting date and time
Oct. 7, 9:30 a.m. (Topics: budget overview, Planning and Public Works and general government)
Oct. 8, 9:30 a.m. (Topics: Human services, housing and homelessness and legal and judicial)
Oct. 14, 9:30 a.m. (Topics: Public Safety and Parks and Recreation)
Oct. 15, 9:30 a.m. (Topics: Facilities, ARPA, Council Discussion)

Biennial Budget Committee of the Whole (COW) meetings

Meeting date and time
Oct. 20 
Oct. 21
  • 9:30 a.m. (Topic: Planning and Public Works) 
  • 1:30 p.m.(Topic: Planning and Public Works)  
Oct, 22
  • 9:30 a.m. (Topics, Human Resources and Assessor-Treasurer's Office)
Oct. 27 
  • 9:30 a.m. (Topics: Superior Court, Juvenile Court) 
  • 1:30 p.m. (Topics: Auditor's Office, District Court)
Oct. 28
  • 9:30 a.m. (Topics: Medical Examiner, Parks and Recreation)
  • 1:30 p.m. (Topics: Department of Assigned Counsel, Prosecuting Attorney, Facilities Management)
Oct. 29
Nov. 3
  • 9:30 a.m. (Topic: Finance and IT)
  • 1:30 p.m. (Topics: Sheriff's Office and Corrections Bureau)
Nov. 4
  • 1:30 p.m. (Topic: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department)
Nov. 5 
Nov. 9
  • 9:30 a.m. (Topic: 2021-94 6-year Transportation Improvement Plan and 14-year Ferry Plan; Proposal 2021-115 Utility Infrastructure Partnership Plan)
Nov. 10 
  • 9:30 a.m. (Topic: 2021-110s Capital Facilities Plan)
Nov. 12
  • 9:30 a.m. Review ordinances related to adoption of the biennial budget.
  • 1:30 p.m. Review Councilmember amendments related to the biennial budget.

Additional Budget Information

2020-2021 Budget

Budget documents reflect the adopted Pierce County budget. We hope it will enhance your understanding of how the County is organized, the services it provides, and the funding sources used to provide those services.

Past Budget Process

Budget documents reflect the adopted Pierce County budget. We hope it will enhance your understanding of how the County is organized, the services it provides, and the funding sources used to provide those services.

2021 Council Priorities

Council priorities front pages

In January 2021 the Pierce County Council met for two days to review and discuss its priorities for the year.

From that facilitated discussion, 10 areas of high priority were identified and outlined in a report (click image to read the full report).

Council will emphasize these high-priority areas through its legislative and budgetary actions in 2021 and in its planning of the 2022-2023 biennium budget.

2021 State Legislative Priorities

2021 Legislative Priorities one page sheet

The Pierce County Council represents and serves the citizens of Pierce County, working to ensure that Pierce County is an exceptional place for families, individuals, and business to grow and be successful. Council acts in the best interest of its citizens by establishing policies that guide County government, allocating resources to implement policies and monitoring implementation. The Council is transparent in its actions to remain accountable to citizens. 

For 2021 Council focused its priorities in the following seven areas: Public Safety, Community and Behavioral Health, Housing Attainment, Economic Development, Infrastructure, Fiscal Stewardship and Capital Budget.