The Town of Point Roberts, Part 2

In the first part of this series, we noted that from time to time there's discussion in the community about Point Roberts incorporating and forming its own government. In that first part, we looked at taxes and revenue, focusing specifically on property taxes.

Here's a chart, based on one that appears in the Whatcom County Assessor's Tax Book for 2019, of revenues and expenditures for various county functions. In the original chart, only the percentages are given. We have added the total dollar amounts at the county level as listed by the Assessor, along with the dollar amounts we've calculated to be contributed by Point Roberts property taxes.

Note the amounts for the County slice (the purple one with yellow text), which represents the property taxes to the county general fund. We focus on this fund because it is where most of our services come from, apart from the taxing districts (Parks, Fire, Hospital, and Cemetery).

Within this County slice, we have superimposed a yellow line. You may have to zoom in to see it. That line shows the proportion of the county slice that comes from Point Roberts property taxes.

County General Fund

As a refresher, here again is the revenue breakdown for the county general fund, which we also published in Part 1. It shows that property taxes of about $30 million only account for about a third of the total revenues for this fund, which are about $87 million:

Here is the spending picture for that fund. You can see that by far the largest category is Law and Justice, from which our sheriff coverage is funded:

The expenditures in numbers:

So going back to that tiny piece of the County general fund slice, how do we get a sense of how much we in Point Roberts contribute for these services?

One way to do this is to look at the County Organizational Chart as a basis for organizing the services we get out of the general fund. We've added the dollar values in to show how much we pay out of property taxes for each category of services:

The remaining funds are allocated to the Other category in both the spending chart and the expenditures table above.

In the final installment of this series, we'll address the question of how Point Roberts could afford to govern itself.

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