What are the responsibilities of the County Auditor?
The County Auditor has a variety of functions and duties. The main functions are:
- Preparing and certifying tax levies
- Maintaining financial records
- Clerk to the Board of Supervisors
- Commissioner of Elections
- Keeping Real Estate Transfer Records
The Auditor calculates tax rates for all taxing entities in the County (schools, cities, townships, etc.) by applying taxes levied by those entities to the valuation of each property as determined by the Assessor. The Auditor then prepares a tax list showing each taxpayer’s share of the total. These figures are then certified to the County Treasurer’s Office. Many of the records prepared in the Auditor’s office are maintained permanently and are available for public use.
Financial duties of the Auditor include the preparation of the County’s budget from material submitted by its departments and other agencies and issuing payment for all services, materials, and payroll charged to the County. The Auditor then maintains a ledger for each department in the County throughout the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). The Auditor also keeps and maintains permanent financial records for the County. Many financial reports are published for public information.
As clerk to the Board of Supervisors, the Auditor may perform a variety of duties depending on the size of the County. The Auditor may accept petitions, register complaints, or act on routine business in the absence of the Board. The Auditor often prepares Board meeting agendas, notifies the media, attends all Board meetings, keeps and records Board meeting minutes, and publishes the proceedings in the official County newspapers. The Auditor initiates bid notices, solicits proposals for County Contracts for materials and services, and receives contract proposals. Official papers dealing with Board of Supervisors’ business are referenced and maintained by the Auditor.
As Commissioner of Elections, the Auditor is in charge of all regular and special elections in the County – federal, state, county, city, and school district. The Auditor prepares and supervises the printing of ballots and/or programming of voting machines as well as ordering all election supplies. The Auditor also conducts training for precinct election officials, and provides information to see that the election laws of Iowa are obeyed. This is an important trust placed in the Auditor’s care. Assurance that the voting process is conducted according to the law is very important. The Auditor provides public information for, and conducts voter registration efforts in the County. The Auditor maintains all official voter registration records. After an election, the Auditor certifies the results to the state or the political subdivision involved, and issues certificates of election to the proper persons. Some election records are maintained permanently, others for a specified period of time.
The County Auditor enters and maintains records of all real estate transfers in the county. The Auditor keeps the plat maps and transfer books current, so that the public can examine the books to determine property ownership. The Auditor’s office works closely with area realtors, attorneys, property owners and other individuals who deal with real estate transactions.
Sources: “The County Auditor” pamphlet supplied by the Iowa State Association of County Auditors. Prepared in 1995.
400 Public Square Suite 5
Greenfield, IA 50849