206 E. San Saba
Menard, TX 76859
PO. box 1038
Menard, TX 76859
The county treasurer occupies an important role in the fiscal operations of county government. As the county’s banker, the treasurer is the chief custodian of county finances.
The county treasurer shall (1) receive monies belonging to the county from whatever source, (2) keep and account for monies in a designated depository, and (3) pay and apply or disburse monies in such a manner as commissioners’ court may direct, by law.
Article XVI, 44 of the Texas Constitution states, “the Legislature shall prescribe the duties and provide for the election by the qualified voters of each county in this State, of a county treasurer, who shall have an office at the county seat, and hold their office for four years and until their successors are qualified, and shall have such compensation as may be provided by law”.
County treasurers must secure a bond before executing their official duties of office. In addition to this requirement, county treasurers are required to obtain twenty hours of continuing education annually that is sponsored by an institution of higher learning.
Funds belonging to the county received by any county official must be turned over to the county treasurer. Certain funds, such as child support payments or money in the registry of a court, are handled according to specific court orders. All other fines, forfeitures and related fees are to be paid over to the county treasurer. All monies owed to the county not collected by the other county officials may also be paid to the county treasurer.
The county treasurer is required to keep all county funds in the county depository. Most counties maintain funds in a local bank and the county treasurer acts as the chief liaison between the county and all depository banks. In this capacity, the treasurer maintains records of deposits and withdrawals, and reconciles the bank statements, thus assuring their accuracy and the safety of the county funds.
Some duties fall to the county treasurer regarding the registration and custody of the proceeds of certain bonds issued by the county. They serve as the financial manager and coordinator of all revenue bonds and funds, including initial issuance establishment of accounts, acceptance of original funds and payment of accounts. An account of the principal and interest paid on courthouse, jail, other county owned public property, road and related improvements bonds, and of notes and other debt obligations, must also be maintained by the treasurer.
Many county treasurers are also the county’s investment officer. The county treasurer may, at the instruction of the commissioners’ court, withdraw county funds and invest in and purchase securities. These funds are invested in accordance with the direction of the commissioners’ court’s required Investment Policy and Investment Strategy statements for the county, provisions of the depository contract, and the provisions of the law. As revenue is realized by prudent management of investment funds, it is the county treasurer’s responsibility to keep and account for those funds.
It is the responsibility of the county treasurer to disburse money belonging to the county. After expenditures have been approved by the court, the treasurer processes payments. Then the county treasurer and county clerk join together to sign warrants or checks drawn on county funds. The county treasurer is the proper official authorized to make delivery of county checks to the payee.
Many county treasurers also serve as the county’s human resources department, recording and maintaining records of county employees’ benefits and of unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, Social Security, payroll taxes and garnishments. In addition, in most counties the county treasurer is charged with payroll responsibilities.
Many county treasurers also complete and submit monthly, quarterly and annual reports of fees and fines to Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and of payroll taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, and complete and submit various surveys of county activities and expenses to state government agencies and to federal government agencies.
Regular reports on county finances are submitted by the treasurer to the members of commissioners’ court to inspect and verify. By statute, the court most approve the treasurer’s report and the county judge and all commissioners must file an affidavit with the county clerk as well as publish in the newspaper a statement reflecting the court’s compliance with the statute. The county treasurer plays no direct role in determining the fiscal policy of a county; this is set by the commissioners’ court. However, the county treasurer may aid the court in its fiscal decisions.
The county treasurer also has limited authority to institute a lawsuit on behalf of the county to recover or collect county money. This authority to sue in the name of the county is an unusual and significant discretionary power vested in the treasurer’s office. The county treasurer may direct prosecution, with the aid of the county attorney, to recover any debt that may be due to the county.
As the fiscal officer of Texas counties, the county treasurer plays a key role in successful management of county government.