To view the budget or financial report: Adair County Budget and Financial Reports
The reorganization of county finances was accomplished by the Iowa Legislature in 1983. All existing funds were combined into a minimum of four funds: General Fund, Rural Services Fund, Secondary Road Fund, and Debt Service Fund. Previously, some funds had levy limits and were controlled to some degree by the county board of supervisors. Other funds created by state mandates had no levy limits. The counties had no control over the cost of such funds. If a county desired to increase a levy limit or transfer money from one fund to another, it was required to go through a tedious process of voter approval by referendum or State Appeal Board approval.
Under the current system, all countywide levy funds are consolidated under the General Fund. For unincorporated areas, funds are consolidated under the Rural Services Fund. Thus, the current system simplifies the budgetary process and provides more control to the county in managing its own resources. A county can transfer funds or change levy rates without seeking voter approval or permission from the State Appeal Board. Thus, the current system, in addition to greatly simplifying the budgetary process, provides more control to the county in managing its own resources.
The finances of counties are affected by many different factors. Some of the variation results from decisions made by county officials. Some are due to factors outside the control of the elected officials such as state mandates, a county’s size, the economic status of its residents, or the proximity of similar services provided elsewhere. The amount of revenue available for a county is influenced by rising or falling property values, the use of fee-based services, intergovernmental grants for projects, and many other interrelated factors.
Sources: “County Finances” pamphlet taken from “Evolution of County Government in Iowa” by State of Iowa Office for Planning and Programming; “New Directions for County Government” by Iowa Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.