EMERGENCY? CALL 911

The financial integrity of the agency is imperative to South Sound 911’s success in carrying out its mandate to the citizens and the agencies we serve.

The Budget & Finance department’s responsibilities include financial statement preparation and reporting, financial analysis and projection, accounts payable, accounts receivable, grant accounting, payroll and benefits, and purchasing, as well as the processing of personnel actions, such as new hires, reclassifications, merit increases and employment verification. South Sound 911’s finances are reviewed on a continuous basis, and frequent analysis is done to provide feedback on both revenue and expenditures.

Countywide 911 Tax Revenue

In November 2011, the citizens of Pierce County approved Proposition 1, which increased retail sales and use tax by 0.1% for emergency communications. The tax sunsets in December 2036 and was established to upgrade countywide radio systems and construct a regional communications facility for 911. Since the tax was implemented, it has supported other regional capital projects to improve public safety communications and offset operational costs funded by the police and fire departments throughout Pierce County. See South Sound 911’s Tax Accountability Detail report for more information.

In mid-2022, Pierce County designated South Sound 911 as the countywide 911 Program Office. With this appointment, proceeds from the 911 excise tax are distributed to South Sound 911. The tax is a $0.70 tax on phone lines, which generates approximately $9M annually. See the 911 excise tax report detailing how these tax dollars are used.

Budget

The annual budget discloses South Sound 911’s financial needs and resources, including salaries and benefits, capital and operating expenditures, allocation revenue, public service counter revenue, and revenue generated from current sales tax initiatives. The agency adopted its first six-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) during the 2023 Budget process to plan for future capital needs.

Current and historical budget information can be found in the Archive.

Partner police and fire agencies pay for services provided by South Sound 911 through cost allocation. The cost allocation model is a valuable cost-sharing tool which ensures fair and equitable charges to the partner agencies.  All of the participating agencies are billed on the level of service they receive. This “fair share” cost allocation model is updated on an annual basis and uses distinct methodology for each operational division.

Auditing

Requirements for governmental accountability include periodic financial audits, compliance audits, and single audits triggered by federal grants. South Sound 911 undergoes regular audits conducted by the Washington State Auditor’s Office.