The county treasurer holds a key position of public trust in the financial affairs of local government. Acting as the bank for the county, school districts, fire districts, water districts, and other units of local government, this office receipts, disburses, invests, and accounts for the funds of each of these entities. In addition, the county treasurer is charged with the collection of various taxes that benefit a wide range of governmental units. Over 60% of the workload of the county treasurer is directed toward providing services to the taxing districts.
The major responsibilities of the Island County Treasurer can be summarized below:
As the depository for all funds, fees collected by other county offices as well as those collected by the various districts are forwarded to the treasurer for custody. State and federal monies allocated to local government are transmitted to the treasurer and are deposited to the proper funds. Monthly reports are prepared by the treasurer to show the accounting transactions by fund for each unit of government.
Property taxes are a major source of revenue to local governments. Property taxes are billed by the county treasurer based on the assessment roll prepared by the county assessor. Upon collection, the revenues are then distributed to the various state, school, county, city, and district funds levied.
The county treasurer also bills and collects special benefit assessments authorized by the voters to fund improvements or to provide a specific service to property owners within a localized district.
Collection provisions in the law direct the treasurer to seize and sell real and personal property when property taxes become delinquent. The statutes governing real property require the commencement of foreclosure action when those taxes and assessments are delinquent for three years, and if those taxes and assessments, along with interest and penalties are not satisfied, the property is sold at a public auction. The statutes governing personal property (including mobile homes) require distraint and sale when taxes and assessments are delinquent for one year, upon which time the treasurer begins proceedings to seize the property and sell it at public auction.
In addition, the county treasurer acts as an agent for the Washington State Department of Revenue to administer and collect the real estate excise tax on the conveyance of real property. These taxes, which help fund the state public school system and local government capital improvements, are paid by the seller as a percentage of the sale price.
The county treasurer redeems all school, county and district warrants from monies available in the fund upon which they were drawn.
The treasurer performs cash management and banking services for the county, school, fire, port, cemetery, library, and other junior districts, as well as other government agencies. The cash needs of each fund is determined on a daily basis. The treasurer invests funds that are not needed for immediate expenditures for the county and the districts in accordance with the investment policy.
The treasurer administers short-term and long-term debt financing. Bond sales authorized by the county and local districts are facilitated by the treasurer.
The duties of the county treasurer are many and varied and require the efficient and reliable handling of public funds. With responsibilities extending beyond the scope of county operations, the county treasurer plays a key fiduciary role in the operation of local government. The county treasurer adds value to the taxing districts and citizens by providing:
The Island County Treasurer is an elected position that serves a term of four years according to state law. Any registered voter in Island County can be elected. The position provides an independent advantage for handling public funds as well as an important check and balance between the Clerk, Auditor, Assessor, and Commissioners. The Treasurer also serves numerous junior taxing districts and local government entities, so is accountable to the citizens of Island County.
One of the main jobs of the Treasurer is to invest County funds that are not immediately required for use by various departments. At the Treasurer's discretion, funds are invested in accordance with the County's investment policy. The Finance Committee is responsible for preparing and updating investment and debt policies, monitoring the performance of investments, and keeping accurate and timely records available for inspection.
What does the Treasurer want for the citizens of Island County?
The Oregon Territorial Legislature created Island County in January, 1853, along with Pierce, King, and Jefferson Counties, from what was originally Thurston County. The legislation was completed with the help of Issac N. Ebey, the only representative from Thurston County at that session. In 1853 Island County included all of what is now Snohomish, Skagit, San Juan, and Whatcom Counties. In March of 1853, President Fillmore signed a bill creating the Territory of Washington out of the Territory of Oregon.
When the census was taken in 1860 there were a total of 294 names listed in the entire Washington Territory. The results of another census completed in 1889 when Washington State was founded indicated there were 1,356 people in Island County. in 2015, the population of Island County totaled over 80,000.
While Island County is the second smallest county in landmass, next to San Juan County, it is the 14th largest county in population in Washington State. This is due to the county's largest employers: U.S. Naval Air Station Whidbey, WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, and Island County local government.
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