The financial powers of the county are held by the County Council which serves as a check on the Board of County Commissioners.
The County Council is charged with the responsibility of appropriating all funds for use by the county and all of its officers. All payments form the general or any special fund to be used by the county of the Board of Commissioners for any purpose other than the mere allocation of funds of the state or federal government must be appropriated by the County County before the expenditure can be made. The authority gives current fiscal control to the County Council over all county offoicers, boards, and commissions.
Some of the functions of the County Council include:
The exclusive power of fixing the rate of taxation for county purposes and for all other purposes where the rate not fixed by law is required to be uniform throughout the county and impose the tax levy.
The exclusive power of making appropriations to be paid out of the county treasury.
The adoption of the annual budget after receiving estimates submitted by the various county agencies through the County Auditor, subject to modification by the County Tax Adjustment Board and the Department of Local Government Finance.
The authorization of incurrring county indebtedness wthin the constitutional limitations.
The appropriation of additional funds in cases of emergency arising after the budget is adopted if approved by a two-thirds vote of the Council members.
The re-appropriation of surplus funds which might be surrendered by one department of county government in order that the funds might be made available to another department.
The transferring of balances in dormant funds to the county general fund.
The fixing of salaries of officers, deputies, assistants, and employees whole salaries are payable from any county fund, while observing legal minimums and with certain exceptions as provided by the statues granting this authority.
Levying taxes to provide funds for erecting new jails and repairing, remodeling, and enlarging of old jails.
Furnishing financial assistance to any community center for the mentally handicapped located in the ocunty. For this purpose, a tax of 4 cents on each $100 of taxable property may be levied.
The County Council must approve the sale of any real property of the county having an appraised value of $10,000 or more, as must every lease of real property for which the total annual rental payments will be $3,000 or more.
The Council has the exclusive power to authorize the borrowing of money for the county, but the toal amount of county indebtedness may not exceed an amount equalling two percent of the assessed valuation of the county less the total of all mortage exemptions.
The Rush County Auditor is the clerk for the County Council, responsible for recording the minutes and votes. The Council may employ legal counsel and administrative personnel necessary to assist it in its duties.
Term of Office:
Rush County is divided into four council districts from each of which one councilman is elected for a four-year period. Three more are elected from the entire county at large making a total of seven council members.