Guide to Indiana County Government ... Guide to Indiana County Government 2009 Edition A PUBLICATION

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Text of Guide to Indiana County Government ... Guide to Indiana County Government 2009 Edition A PUBLICATION

  • Guide to

    Indiana County Government

    2009 Edition

    A PUBLICATION OF ASSOCIATION OF INDIANA COUNTIES, INC

    101 West Ohio Street, Suite 1575

    Indianapolis, IN 46204 Phone (317) 684-3710 Fax (317) 684-3713

    www.indianacounties.org

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Chapter 1 ..................................................................................................................5

    Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 5 Chapter 2 ..................................................................................................................7

    The Power of Indiana Counties ................................................................................................... 7 Sources of Authority ................................................................................................................ 7 Home Rule................................................................................................................................ 7

    Chapter 3 ..................................................................................................................9 The Legal Status of County Officials .......................................................................................... 9

    Becoming an Elected Official .................................................................................................. 9 Who is Elected....................................................................................................................... 9 Terms of Office...................................................................................................................... 9 Qualifications for Office ....................................................................................................... 9 Official Bonds ....................................................................................................................... 9 Oath of Office...................................................................................................................... 10 Holding Dual Offices .......................................................................................................... 10 Compensation ..................................................................................................................... 11 Vacancies in Office ............................................................................................................. 11

    Official Misconduct and Conflict of Interest ......................................................................... 12 Official Misconduct............................................................................................................. 12 Conflict of Interest .............................................................................................................. 12 Ghost Employment .............................................................................................................. 14 Removal............................................................................................................................... 14

    Liability of Torts .................................................................................................................... 14 Tort Claim Procedures ....................................................................................................... 16 Liability Insurance .............................................................................................................. 16 Personal Liability................................................................................................................ 17

    Chapter 4 ................................................................................................................18 Powers and Duties of County Officials ..................................................................................... 18

    Legislative Functions ............................................................................................................. 18 County Commissioners ....................................................................................................... 18 County Council ................................................................................................................... 19

    Executive Functions ............................................................................................................... 19 County Commissioners ....................................................................................................... 20 Meetings and Transactions of Business.............................................................................. 20 Administrative Assistance ................................................................................................... 21 Auditor ................................................................................................................................ 21 Coordinator of Tax Collection and Distribution ................................................................ 21 County "Comptroller” ........................................................................................................ 21 Key Assistant....................................................................................................................... 21

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    Treasurer............................................................................................................................. 21 Assessor............................................................................................................................... 22 Surveyor .............................................................................................................................. 22 Coroner ............................................................................................................................... 23 Sheriff .................................................................................................................................. 23 Recorder.............................................................................................................................. 24

    Judicial Functions................................................................................................................... 25 Prosecuting Attorney .......................................................................................................... 25 Clerk of the Circuit Court ................................................................................................... 25

    Chapter 5 ................................................................................................................27 Understanding County Finances................................................................................................ 27

    Financial Sources ................................................................................................................... 27 Local Taxes ......................................................................................................................... 27 Property Tax ....................................................................................................................... 27 Circuit Breaker ................................................................................................................... 28 Local Income Taxes ............................................................................................................ 28 Inventory Tax Reduction ..................................................................................................... 30 Motor Vehicle Excise Surtax and Wheel Tax...................................................................... 31 Special Local Taxes ............................................................................................................ 31 Special Assessments and “Special Benefits” Taxes............................................................ 31

    State Distributed Funds .......................................................................................................... 32 State Distributed Taxes ....................................................................................................... 32 Gaming Funds..................................................................................................................... 34 Other State Funding............................................................................................................ 34

    Federal Funding...................................................................................................................... 34 Grants ................................................................................................................................. 34 Block grants ........................................................................................................................ 34 Other Financial Sources ..................................................................................................... 35 Debt Funding ...................................................................................................................... 35 Referenda for Capital Projects ........................................................................................... 37 Investment Income .............................................................................................................. 37 Miscellaneous Revenue....................................................................................................... 38

    Finan