Frequently Asked Questions

Does every Texas county have a county treasurer?

The office of county treasurer was established by our State Constitution to have a treasurer serve in every Texas county.  However, a constitutional amendment has been approved to allow certain counties to hold elections to keep or eliminate the elected treasurer.

How does a person become county treasurer?

Art. 16, Sec. 44, of the Texas Constitution provides that a county treasurer shall be elected by the qualified voters of each county.

For what term is a county treasurer elected?

County treasurers hold office for a term of 4 years, and until their successors are qualified.

Who may serve as county treasurer?

The law does not prescribe any formal qualifications which a candidate must possess.  An elected county treasurer is required to qualify for office by posting a surety bond in the amount prescribed by the Commissioners Court guaranteeing faithful performance of lawful duties.  This requirement would imply that the person qualifying be an adult and be of sufficiently trust worthy character to secure and provide the required surety bond.

Are there training programs available or required to assist county treasurers in obtaining knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of their office?

Each county treasurer must be certified for competency at least once in a 12 month period, pursuant to Chapter 83, Section 83.003 Continuing Education, at least 20 hours of education in the performance of the duties of county treasurer.  Texas A&M University has contracted, through the V.G. Young Institute of County Government, to furnish a continuing education program in cooperation with officers of the County Treasurer's Association of Texas.  This program consists of 20 classroom hours each year and addresses the duties and responsibilities of the county treasurers' office, along with other related subjects.

What are the primary duties of the county treasurer?

Art. 1709a, of Vernon's Annotated Texas Statutes states in part:  The County Treasurer, as chief custodian of county finance, shall receive all monies belonging to the county from whatever source derived, keep and account for the same in a designated depository or depositories, and pay and apply or disburse the same, in such manner as the Commissioners Court may direct, not inconsistent with constituted law.

Who makes deposits to the county treasury?

The elected county officials who receive funds in the course of their duties are required to deposit such county funds into the treasury.

Might persons other than court officials make deposits to the treasury?

Any monies owed to the county not collected by other county officials may be paid to the county treasurer.  The county treasurer prepares a receipt in triplicate, gives one to the depositor, one to the auditor and retains one copy.

What purpose is served by maintaining a treasury in this manner?

This system of maintaining a treasury provides an important check-and-balance record on money flowing both in and out of county government.  Other statutory safeguards allow the county auditor to examine, without prior notice to an official, the records of any county office to ascertain the accuracy of those records.

What monies paid to county officials are not required to be deposited into the treasury?

All receipts of any official belonging to the county must be turned over to the county treasurer daily.  The county tax assessor-collector deposits funds with the county treasurer in accordance with the procedures prescribed in the Tax Code.  Certain funds held as child-support payments or money in the registry of a court are handled according to specific court orders.

How does the county pay its bills?

All bills must be first approved for payment by the Commissioners Court.  The county clerk, who serves as clerk of the Commissioners Court then joins with the county treasurer in signing warrants drawn on the treasury or check drawn on county funds maintained in the designated depository bank.  In counties having auditors (Parker County), where the provisions impose like duties as required of the court clerk, the clerk is relieved of these duties.  The county auditor countersigns all checks except jury checks.  Jury checks are prepared by county clerks and district clerks on order of the court's judge and countersigned by the county treasurer.  The county treasurer is the proper official authorized to make delivery of all county checks to the payee.

What should be the treasurer's response if he believes an improper expenditure of county funds has been authorized?

The statute says the county treasurer must act in a manner directed or required by the Commissioners Court.  If he/she believes the court has acted improperly, he/she should call this matter to the Court's attention for its reconsideration and redetermination.

How does the county treasurer assure safekeeping of county funds as required by law?

Since most counties maintain county funds in local banks the county treasurer acts as the chief liaison between the county and all depository banks.  In this capacity, he/she maintains records of all deposits and withdrawals, and reconciles all bank statements, thus assuring their accuracy and the safety of county funds.

What role does the county treasurer have in formulating county fiscal policy?

The county treasurer performs no direct role in determining the fiscal policy a county government will follow.  Indirectly, however, the county treasurer, by maintaining fiscal reports for daily use by the Commissioners Court, can materially aid the Court in its fiscal decisions.

How are unappropriated funds an/or funds not needed immediately to meet the financial obligations of the county handled?

As fiscal officer, the county treasurer invests all funds available in accordance with the direction of the Investment Policy, the provisions of the depository contract and the provisions of law.  A substantial revenue may be realized by prudent management of these funds.  It is the county treasurers responsibility to keep and account for such funds.

What confidence can the public have in the fiscal structure of the county government?

Texas county government is structured in a manner which requires county financial undertaking to be open to the public and within the actual and official knowledge of more than one elected official.  The county treasurer is an integral part of this system of internal controls designed to prevent excessive concentration of power in one official.  The dispersion of public fiscal duties among several officials assures an orderly and honorable administration of public finance in ways which inspire and merit public trust.