Financial duties of the Auditor include the preparation of the County's budget from material submitted by its departments and other agencies and issuing payment for all services, materials and payroll charged to the Clay County.


  Clay County, Iowa - Auditor

The office of the County Auditor was created in 1870 as part of a revamping of county government. The duties of the office covered areas that had previously been given to the County Judge in 1851, in the first Code of Iowa, and then to the Clerk of Court in 1861, with the formation of the Board of Supervisors. The State Legislature added the duties of Commissioner of Elections in the early 1970ís. The County Auditor is an elected position, with a term of four years.

The Institute of Public Affairs has labeled the Auditorís Office as the ďHub of County GovernmentĒ. The Clay County Auditor and staff are always available to help with your questions and invite you to visit their offices anytime.

The county auditor serves in an office which is much diversified. One of the auditorís many duties is to serve as secretary to the board of supervisors. As such, the auditor has control over the records of the board. Auditorís election responsibilities include registering voters, supervising precinct election officials, publishing election notices, and acting as custodian of poll books. Auditors are commissioner of elections for school board, city, county, state and federal elections. Real estate transfers and numerous other records are handled through the county auditorís office. Lastly, the county auditor does indeed audit bills or other claims against the county. Warrants in payment are then prepared. The auditor also maintains accounting records on all appropriations for the countyís various departments.

The following information has been prepared for the purpose of acquainting you with the duties and responsibilities of your County Auditor. No attempt has been made to cover all the functions of this office. We hope you use this as a reference and an educational guide for information about your County Auditor.  

Budget Central
Along with these financial responsibilities, the Auditorís Office is considered Budget Central for all government entities. Schools, Cities, Townships, Agricultural Extension, County Hospitals, Emergency Management Agency, E911 Service Board, and County Assessor 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.
Clerk to the Board of Supervisors
As Clerk to the Board of Supervisors, the Auditor may perform a variety of duties depending on the size of the County. The Auditor may accept petitions, register complaints, or act on routine business in the absence of the Board. The Auditor often prepares Board meeting agendas, notifies the media, attends all Board meetings, keeps and records Board meeting minutes, and publishes the proceedings in the official County newspapers. The Auditor initiates bid notices, solicits proposals for County contracts for materials and services, and receives contract proposals. Official papers dealing with Board of Supervisorsí business are referenced and maintained by the Auditor. County Ordinances are prepared, published, recorded, and maintained by the County Auditor.
Commissioner of Elections
In 1972 the County Auditor was given an additional title of Commissioner of Elections by the legislature. In addition to federal, state and county elections, the Commissioner of Elections then assumed the duties of all city, school, and special elections.
The Commissioner prepares and supervises the printing of ballots and/or programming of voting machines as well as orders all election supplies. The Commissioner conducts schools of instructions, according to law, for all precinct election officials and is responsible for their employment on election day. The Commissioner also prepares and monitors the processing of all absentee ballots in order to aid voters who will not be voting at the polls on election day.
Other duties of the Election Commissioner include:
Acting as Receiving Clerk for nomination papers and public measures to be placed on the ballot.
Acting as Clerk of the County Board of Election Canvassers and Special Precinct Board.
County Financial Officer
As the countyís Financial Officer, the Auditor completes a ďState of the CountyĒ 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. 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 ďauditingĒ all claims and keeping a complete record of each transaction. It is the Auditorís responsibility to make sure that the departments do not exceed the budget appropriation approved by the Board of Supervisors.
County Registrar of Voters
In 1975 the Auditor became the County Registrar of Voters with the implementation of a state-wide voter registration law. The Auditor is responsible for maintaining the current records of residents desiring to vote and purging the records of those no longer eligible to vote. The Auditor is then able to prepare the necessary lists of qualified voters for each election.
County Tax Accountant
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 Assessorís Office, the Auditor certifies the ďtaxableĒ valuation of the county to the State. This computation creates the tax rate from which each taxpayerís 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 taxpayerís share of the total governmental tax asking. These figures are then certified to the County Treasurerís Office for collection.
Custodian of the Courthouse
The Auditor is the Custodian of the Courthouse under the direction of the Board of Supervisors. This responsibility includes not only general maintenance and repair of the building, but also issues involving office space, records storage, and disaster recovery.
Custodian of the Election Returns and Records
As Custodian of the Election Returns and Records, the Commissioner certifies the results to the state or subdivision involved and issues certificates of election to the proper persons.
Insurance policies and surety bonds are filed and maintained in the Auditorís Office.
The Auditorís office processes various licenses and permits:
  Cigarette Licenses
Beer Permits
Liquor Licenses
Fireworks Permits
Other Reporting Requirements
Reports required by the Bureau of Census, Labor, OSHA, Job Service of Iowa and various other general reports are prepared by the Auditorís Office.
Overseer of the County Plats
The Auditor is the Overseer of the County Plats. All documents dealing with the transfer of real estate recorded in the Recorderís Office are also filed in the Auditorís Office. Each document is proofed for accuracy and the chain of title researched. The document is then entered into the Transfer Record. Plat and Transfer Records are maintained showing the ownership of all parcels of land for taxation purposes. The Auditor may cause subdivisions to be platted when necessary and accordingly revises the county plats.
Payroll & Human Resources Manager
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. In some counties, the Auditor also acts as the Human Resources Manager and handles employee questions dealing with health insurance deductibles and co-payments, COBRA forms, annuity plans, vacation, sick leave, Family/Medical Leave, military leave, retirement options. Updating the Countyís Personnel Policy and job descriptions are also a responsibility of this office.
Records and Plans
  Records and plans filed in the Auditorís office include:
  Manure Management Plans, Plan Updates, and Livestock Confinement Construction Permits are filed in the Auditorís Office.
  Drainage Records and Assessments are maintained by the Auditorís Office.
  Road and Bridge Records are maintained by the Auditorís Office.

Office holder name:

Ann Baschke

Term, four years, bond $10,000
Term began 2021/expires 2024

Address of
Auditor's office:

Clay County
Administration Building
300 W 4th St. Ste. 4
Spencer, Iowa 51301

Hours Office is open:

Monday - Friday
8:00 A.M - 4:30 P.M.

Phone Number:
(712) 262-1569

FAX Number:
(712) 262-5793

Auditor Designees:

Alison Kutzbach

Deputy Auditor

Audrey Coffman
Elections Deputy

Kris Toay
Real Estate Deputy

Brandy Van Otterloo

Auditor's Forms:

Downloadable forms
used in the Auditor's office

Auditor's Links:

Clay County Financials

Job Descriptions for
Auditor's Office

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Iowa State Association of County Auditors

Iowa State
Association of Counties

Other Related Links:

Department of Management County Budgets

Department of Management Valuation Data

Index of Iowa Code

Iowa Administrative Code

Accessibility Parking outside the Clay County Administration Building

Accessibility Parking outside the Clay County Administration Building

Accessibility Parking outside the Clay County Administration Building

Accessibility Parking outside the Clay County Administration Building