Budgets & Audits

Auditor's Role

The Auditor’s Office is considered Budget Central for all government entities. Schools, cities, townships, agricultural extension, county hospitals, emergency management agencies, E911 service boards, and county assessors file their completed budgets with the Auditor. These budgets, which include the tax asking for each entity, are reviewed by the County 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.

The Auditor tabulates the taxable valuations for each property owner in the county. After applying the proper exemptions, homestead and military credits, roll backs, and other adjustments to the assessed valuations certified by the Assessor’s Office, the Auditor certifies the “taxable” valuation of the county to the State. This computation creates the tax rate from which each taxpayers’ statement is prepared.

After the State returns the certified tax rates for the above-mentioned taxing entities in the County, the Auditor becomes the County Tax Accountant and applies these tax rates to the taxable valuation of each property and then prepares a tax list showing each taxpayer’s share of the total governmental tax asking. These figures are then certified to the County Treasurer’s Office for collection.

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. All the County payroll is computed and distributed by this office. Related reports such as FICA, IPERS, State and Federal withholding, insurance, 457 Deferred Compensation plans, and other deduction reports are filed with the proper entities. Claims for payment for all services and materials rendered and charged to the various county departments are submitted to this office for payment. The Auditor is responsible for “auditing” all claims and keeping a complete record of each transaction. It is the Auditor’s responsibility to make sure that the departments do not exceed the budget appropriation approved by the Board of Supervisors.


Visit the Iowa Department of Management website for property valuations.


Visit the Iowa Department of Management website for Local Budget and Finance reports.

There you will find information on County Budgets, Property Tax Files (for county, city—listed by county, schools, and miscellaneous tax rates), and Valuations.

Also available on the website are:

Visit the State Auditor’s Office website to view audit reports.

The website posts all audit reports issued by the Office of the Auditor of State. Some counties hire private auditing firms to do their audits.


What is a Levy Authority?

A Levy Authority is a governmental entity with statutory authority to levy property taxes. These entities include counties, cities, school districts, townships, community colleges, local assessors, and others. Levies are set by each governmental entity during the budget process.

Where do my taxes go?

After the budget process, the completed budgets are given to the Auditor to figure your taxes. Your taxes are then apportioned by the county treasurer to Levy Authorities such as the school district, city or township, and county in which your real estate parcel is located. If your property is in a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Area, most of your taxes are probably apportioned to a TIF Authority, such as a city. You can see the distribution of your taxes on your tax bill.

Meet Our Auditors

Benton County

Hayley Rippel
Vinton, Iowa

Auditor Information

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