The county auditor is the only elected official, aside from the one commissioner, that is elected in the gubernatorial election year. All other county elected officials are elected in the presidential election year. If the commissioners do not appoint a clerk, the auditor is, by
statute, the clerk of the board of county commissioners.
The auditor is the chief fiscal officer of the county. As the county's chief fiscal officer, the auditor has the responsibility to keep the official record of all county government receipts and disbursements. The auditor is a very important office from the perspective of county commissioners because it is the responsibility of the office to certify to the commissioners an estimate of available revenue that they may appropriate for county agencies and departments. When the county makes a purchase or enters into a contract, the auditor must certify that funds are available or in the process of collection from the appropriate account. This assures that no agency spends more than the commissioners appropriate for various purposes. In addition, the auditor issues warrants to pay county bills, and serves as the "paymaster" for all county employees. The auditor prepares a detailed annual report of all revenue and expenditures by fund under rules of the state auditor.
Another major responsibility of the auditor relates to the administration of Ohio's property tax law. As the appraiser of real property, the auditor must assure that every parcel of land and buildings and improvements are fairly and uniformly appraised and then assessed for tax purposes. The auditor directs a general reappraisal of real property every six years with an update being performed during the third year after the reappraisal.
In administering Ohio's real property tax law, the auditor must maintain accurate records of real property including the transfer of- deeds, new construction, new parcels and lot splits, oil and gas wells, homestead exemptions, and special assessments.
Every year the auditor prepares an abstract of real property, an abstract of property exempt from taxation, an abstract of current agricultural use (CAUV) property, an abstract of tax rates, and the general tax list and duplicate. After taxes are collected by the county treasurer, the auditor distributes taxes and special assessments to various political subdivisions and county agencies or boards. The auditor also certifies a list and duplicate of delinquent taxes and must publish the list. The treasurer then pursues these delinquencies.
The auditor also has a variety of other significant responsibilities including:
a. To distribute funds to various political subdivisions. This includes distributions of motor vehicle license taxes, gasoline taxes, estate taxes, fines, personal property taxes, and state local government fund monies to counties, townships, municipalities, libraries and certain park districts.
b. To serve as an agent for the state Tax Commissioner for administering Ohio's tangible personal property tax law.
c. To administer Ohio's manufactured home law by assessing manufactured homes, preparing a tax duplicate, and distributing manufactured home taxes in the same manner as real property taxes.
d. To serve as an agent for the state Tax Commissioner to process estate tax returns of decedents who had residence in the county, including the inventory of safe deposit boxes. The auditor then distributes monies collected from the estate tax to the state and township or municipality of the decedent.
e. To serve as the sealer of weights and measures by inspecting such devices as scales and gas pumps to protect the consuming public.
f. To issue various licenses including licenses for dogs and kennels, vendors licenses, and cigarette licenses.
Finally, the auditor serves critical functions on certain county boards and commissions. The auditor is the secretary of both the county budget commission and the board of revision, and is the chief administrator of the automatic data processing board if the county commissioners have established one.