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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Managing the county's money

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fulton County Treasurer Larry Humphries
Reporter's note: This is the first article in a series focusing on elected offices in Fulton County.

The Fulton County Treasurer is an elected official responsible for receipting, distributing and investing all funds for the county.

"The treasurer is the chief financial officer for the county. All the monies that come in, we receipt them to all the various accounts and we sign all the paychecks," said Fulton County Treasurer Larry Humphries.

According to Humphries, the treasurer's office delegates funds to entities such as the fire departments, 9-1-1 emergency service, county general, county library, county roads and all the cities.

"The fire departments generate quite a bit of money. They have a half-cent sales tax which will generate over $300,000 a year, that is distributed between the 11 fire departments," Humphries said.

The county has money in all three Bank of Salem branches. "We have the majority over here in Salem where we do most of our day-to-day operations," he said.

Money owed to the county, such as taxes and fees are collected by the county collector and brought to the treasurer's office.

"At the end of the month they bring all the money up here, we receipt it, put it in the bank and then the clerk gives us a distribution list as to how much goes to the different entities," Humphries said. "Receipting money to the proper account is key."

"The hardest part of the treasurer's job is figuring the budget and anticipating revenue. Every October we have to try and figure up what we think the county will get (revenue) the following year," he said. Humphries went on to say they are always fortunate and surprisingly close.

The county treasurer also has to keep track of current interest rate's to reap the maximum amount of interest on the peoples' money.

"You take three percent as opposed to five percent of $1.6 million and there is a big difference (in interest to the county)," Humphries said.

One month at a time the County Treasurer's office deals with all the county's financial operations, big and small.

"It amazes me that for the last nine years, every month, we come back to the penny.0 I don't mean within a penny, you have got to be right on. We don't have much of a system but we manage to do it," Humphries said with a laugh.

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