King County provides regional services to all residents of the county, including people who live in cities. These include courts and related legal services, public health services, the county jail, records and elections, property tax appraisals and regional parks and facilities, including the King County International Airport (Boeing Field). With the voter-approved merger of Metro and King County, county government has also assumed the responsibility for public transit and sewage disposal.
King County provides subregional services in many suburban cities, such as animal control.
In unincorporated communities (those outside the official boundaries of a city or town), King County provides the services listed above as well as many local services, including land-use regulation, building permits, police protection, road services, and local parks. Other local services in these communities are provided by fire, water, library, and hospital districts that are not affiliated with county government.
The King County Executive is proposing to form a new Department of Local Services that will consolidate service delivery in unincorporated areas. If the proposal is approved by the King County Council, the new department, and a new cabinet-level position in the Executive's Office, will be created in 2019.