General Government Metrics

Finance

General Fund Rev vs Expenditures

Revenues and expenditures associated with the delivery of services by county agencies funded mainly by property taxes, sales taxes, charges & fees, grants, interest income and other miscellaneous sources.  The General Fund is the largest of Whatcom County funds. It finances most general governmental services including the legislative, executive and judicial branches of county government. It also finances law enforcement, public defense, prosecution, county civil representation, health, parks, land use planning, building inspection, property assessment, tax collection, recording, and vehicle licensing.

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General Fund Sales Tax

Whatcom County receives one percentage point of the retail sales tax collected in the unincorporated areas and .15 percentage points of retail sales tax collected in the incorporated areas.  The county also levies a .1% criminal justice sales tax. Ten percent of the funds collected are received by the county with the other ninety percent being distributed based on population of the cities and unincorporated areas.

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Finance Quarterly Reports:
Most Recent Report
Previous Quarterly Financial Reports
Human Resources

County Government Employees Turnover Rate by Year

Whatcom County has a very stable workforce with net turnover averaging 7.5% per year.

Turnover measures use the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) positions authorized by the County Council for each year divided by the FTEs who leave employment altogether. During 2016, 30% of separations were due to retirement. When positions become vacant, the County often is able to fill them with qualified employees from within the organization. Roughly 60% of position vacancies are filled by candidates from outside County employment. 

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Human Resources

County Employee Cost Per Training Hour

Whatcom County supports its leaders with monthly training on supervisory topics. Presenters are experts in their field and are often folks who present at statewide, even national events. Knowledgeable, skilled leaders create a positive work environment and reduce organizational risk.  We also offer sessions annually for employees on topics of county-wide interest.  Providing quality professional development opportunities onsite eliminates travel costs and limits time away from work.

The cost per training hour metric is calculated by dividing the cost of a training session by the number of hours of the training and the number of employees in attendance. Several variables affect year-over-year cost per training hour, such as facilitator fees, availability of internal and external experts at no cost, and attendance levels.  Participants provide feedback so Whatcom County can continually improve satisfaction and quality of its training program.  Whatcom County leverages a relatively small investment into many hours of quality instruction. 

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Human Resources

Chart showing Incidents vs Claims - Human Resources 2014-2016

 Whatcom County employees and volunteers who are injured on the job or who experience a work-related illness must report the incident to their supervisor. Each incident is reviewed and investigated by the supervisor and the department head, then forwarded to Human Resources.   The log of incidents is regularly reviewed by the Whatcom County Safety Committee and by the Risk Management Working Group.

If an incident requires medical treatment and/or time away from work, the employee or volunteer is  entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Washington Industrial Insurance laws. Whatcom County has been approved by the State to be self-insured, which means we directly cover the costs of work-related injuries and illnesses.


The chart above illustrates the number of incident reports received by Human Resources annually and the number of incidents which become workers’ compensation claims. 


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Auditor

General Election Drop Box Usage

Voters have the option of returning their ballots in the mail or depositing them postage-free in an official ballot drop box.  In 2013 there were 8 drop boxes; those were increased to 14 in 2015 and 15 in 2016.  Western Washington University and Whatcom Community College paid for and selected the sites for the boxes on their campuses.  Use of ballot drop boxes has increased as voters become more aware of the availability and as the number of boxes has increased.  Between 2014 and 2016, usage jumped from 51% to 67%.  Election materials (ballot inserts, envelopes, voter pamphlets) all encourage the use of the drop boxes because they are postage free and don’t rely on a post mark to ensure the ballot can be counted if deposited on Election Day.  For general elections, all drop boxes are open beginning the day ballots go in the mail.  For special and primary elections, only the drop boxes located in the affected geographic areas are opened. 

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Additional information can be found in the County Auditor's 2016 Annual Report


Auditor

Recording Fee Revenue and Net Income

Recording fees are charged for each document and page. The fee is a combination of the county general fund fee and a number of special purpose fees set by the State. Recording also collects fees for copies, certified copies, and time spent researching for customers. Recording revenue is directly related to the number of recorded documents which fluctuates with the real estate market. The revenue/net income chart compares the general fund revenue collected with the net contribution to the general fund after department expenses. 

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Additional information can be found in the County Auditor's 2016 Annual Report