Responsibilities & Duties
The County Auditor is an elected position, with a term of 4 years. Because of the vast array of responsibilities given to this office, the Institute of Public Affairs has labeled it the "Hub of County Government". Although it is impossible to list everything that happens in your county Auditor's office, the following information highlights some of the major responsibilities and duties held there.
The Auditor's Office is considered Budget Central for all government entities. Schools, cities, townships, agricultural extention, county hospitals, Emergency Management Agency, E911 Service Board, and County Assessor file their completed budgets with the Auditor. These budgets, which include the tax asking for each entity, are reviewed by the Auditor and then submitted to the State Department of Management. After the Board of Supervisors hold a public hearing on their budget, the Auditor also files the certified County Budget with the State Department of Management.
Clerk to the Board of Supervisors
As Clerk to the Board of Supervisors, the Auditor may perform a variety of duties. The Auditor accepts petitions, registers complaints, and acts 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. County Ordinances are also prepared, published, recorded and maintained by the County Auditor.
Commissioner of Elections
As Commissioner of Elections, the Auditor is responsible for all regular and special elections in the county - federal, state, county, city and school. This is an important trust placed in the Auditor's care. Assurance that the voting process is conducted according to law is very important. The Auditor's Office:
- Prepares and supervises the printing of ballots and/or programming of voting machines, as well as ordering all election supplies.
- Conducts training for all precinct election officials and provides information to see that the election laws of Iowa are obeyed.
- Provides public information for and conducts voter registration efforts in the county.
- Maintains the current records of registered voters and purges the records of those no longer eligible to vote. The Auditor then prepares the necessary lists of qualified voters for each election.
- Prepares & monitors the processing of all absentee ballots in order to aid voters who will not be voting at the polls on election day.
- Acts as the Receiving Clerk for all nomination papers and public measures to be placed on the ballot.
- Certifies the results of the election to the state and or subdivision involved and issues certificates of election to the proper person.
Some election records are maintained permanently, others for a specified period of time.
County Financial Officer
As the county's financial officer, the Auditor completes a "State of the County" Financial Report at the end of each fiscal year, which is a Revenue vs. Expenditure report showing available cash reserves. Based on this report and budgets for the current year, the Auditor disburses all county funds to each department.
All claims for payment for services and materials rendered for the various county departments are submitted to this office. The Auditor keeps a complete record of each transaction and maintains a ledger for each department in the county to ensure no departments exceed the budget appropriation approved by the Board of Supervisors.
The Auditor also keeps and maintains permanent financial records for the County. Many financial reports are published for public information.
County Tax Accountant
The Auditor tabulates the taxable valuation for each property owner in the county. After applying the proper exemptions, such as homestead and military credits, rollbacks and other adjustments, the Auditor certifies this valuation of the county to the State. Once the tax rate is computed and applied, the Auditor prepares a tax list showing each taxpayer's share of the total. These totals are then certified to the County Treasurer's Office.
Overseer of the County Plats
All documents dealing with the transfer of real estate recorded in the Recorder's Office are also filed in the Auditor's Office. Each document is proofed for accuracy and the chain of title researched. The document is then entered into the Transfer Book. The Plat Maps and Transfer Records are maintained showing the ownership of all parcels of land for taxation purposes.
The Auditor may create subdivisions when necessary and revise the county plats accordingly. This office works closely with area realtors, attorneys, property owners and other individuals who deal with real estate transaction.
Payroll & Human Resources Manager
- All county payroll is computed and distributed by this office.
- Related reports such as FICA, IPERS, State & Federal withholdings, insurance, 457 Deferred Compensation plans, and other deduction reports are filed with the proper entities.
- The Auditor's Office also handles all employee questions regarding health insurance deductibles and co-payments, COBRA forms, annuity plans, vacation, sick leave, Family/Medical Leave, military leave, and retirement options.
- Updating the County's Personnel Policy and job descriptions are also a responsibilty of this office.
- Reports required by the Bureau of Census, Labor, OSHA, Job Service of Iowa and various other general reports are prepared here.
Custodian of the Courthouse
The Auditor is the Custodian of the Courthouse under the direction of the Board of Supervisors. This responsiblity included not only general maintenance and repair of the buidling, but also issues involving office space, records storage and disaster recovery.
Other Duties & Responsibilities
- Data Processing & Information Services. Manage computer system used by Assessor, Treasurer, Recorder & Auditor Offices and also Internet & Network traffic.
- Files & maintains insurance policies and surety bonds.
- Processes various licenses & permits:
- Cigarette Licenses
- Beer Permits
- Liquor Licenses
- Fireworks Permits
- Records & Plans filed in the Auditor's Office incude:
-Manure Management Plans, Plan Updates & Livestock Confinement
- Construction Permits
- Drainage Records & Assessments
- Road & Bridge Records