The Assessment Department assesses all properties in Benton County as of January 1, of each year. The department administers special programs such as special assessments, senior deferral, veteran and active duty military exemptions, enterprise zones, and various other property tax exemptions. It is also responsible for reviewing taxing district budgets; maintaining county property maps; computing tax rates for districts; and assuring that distribution of the tax levies are uniform.
The Board of Commissioners is comprised of three full-time commissioners elected at-large to a four-year terms to manage the legislative, executive and quasi-judicial responsibilities of the county. The Board oversees all functions of county department services, sets the budgets and county ordinances, and also fills a quasi-judicial role in land use matters.
The Budget Office is responsible for managing the preparation and execution of the county budget and the budgets of six service districts for which the Board of Commissioners is also the Governing Body. The office’s responsibilities include managing the scheduling and preparation of biennial or annual budget processes; ensuring all legal requirements for review, adoption and filing of documents and tax levies are met; monitoring budget activity during the year and recommend adjustments as necessary; and conducting research on finance and management issues as requested by the Board of Commissioners.
The Benton County Community Development department houses the Building Division and Planning Division. The Building Division is responsible for administering the building permit and inspection program in accordance with State building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical and manufactured dwelling setup specialty codes. The Planning Division is responsible for managing the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and administering the County's zoning regulations and long range land use planning. The Community Development department also oversees implementation of the Sustainability and Stormwater Programs.
The District Attorney’s office represents the state government and is responsible for the prosecution of criminal offenses in Benton County. Divisions in the District Attorney’s office include criminal, family law, child support enforcement, medical examiner, and victim services. The District Attorney is elected at-large to a four-year term.
The Elections Office sets up, administers, and conducts, all Federal, State, County, City, and Special District elections held in Benton County. Benton County Elections is also responsible for voter registration, election filings, petition drives, campaign information, determination of political boundaries, issuing of ballots, and the publication of Voters' Pamphlets. The Benton County Clerk manages the department and the County Clerk's office is also designated as a passport application acceptance agent.
Financial Services is responsible for budgeting, accounting services, collection of property taxes, treasury management and financial advice to Administration and the Board of County Commissioners. The department develops and monitors internal controls used to protect county assets and provides risk management services by securing liability and property insurance for the county. The department also develops and manages the County’s biennial budget as well as the budgets for eight county service districts.
The Health Department, co-located and integrated with the Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties is responsible for a variety of health services including behavioral and mental health, substance abuse, dental care, developmental diversity, environmental health, health management services, primary care, and public health. The Developmental Diversity Program provides support for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Environmental Health division protects the people of Benton County through managing sanitation, safe food and water, proper disposal of wastes, and disease prevention, plus licenses all restaurants and mobile food stands in the county, trains food service workers in food safety, and investigates all reports of foodborne illness. The Public Health Division provides services related to communicable diseases, family planning, health promotion, HIV/STI, immunizations, maternal and child health, public health emergency preparedness, tobacco prevention, and WIC.
Human Resources is a strategic partner in building a highly skilled, diverse and motivated team of employees, working together to meet our customers' needs. Human Resources provides the following services for the county: recruitment, personnel policies, employee records management, training, employee relations, labor contract administration, new employee orientation, position classification and compensation, and benefits administration.
The Information Technology office provides a full spectrum of quality information and communications systems to support the achievement of county strategic objectives. The office business functions and service areas include applications, database, and programming services; network services; personal computer support; telephone and voicemail services; end user training; informational resources management; information availability; web and graphic design; disaster recovery planning & services; and technology leadership.
Benton County's Juvenile Department protects the community through prevention and control of juvenile delinquency. The department provides a continuum of supervision and rehabilitation services to children from birth to 23 years of age and their families referred to the Juvenile Department in a manner consistent with the protection of the community. An individual case plan is developed for each youth referred to the department. The case plan matches available services to the needs of the youth and addresses the protection of the community, holding the youth accountable, and competency development.
The Benton County Natural Areas and Parks Department serves the interests and pursuits of Benton County residents by providing access to natural, historic, and recreational areas and conserving, restoring and developing parkland investments. The department manages a dozen parks, natural areas, and boat landings; outdoor education and recreation; habitat conservation; prairie conservation; firewood program; Crystal Lake cemetery; Alsea River rental cabin; Salmonberry Campground; Beazell Memorial Forest and Education Center; and county trails.
The Public Works department oversees the Surveyor’s Office, Roads Division, Engineering Services, Facilities Division, Special/Rural Public Transportation, and the Motor Pool and Shop, and assists the Board of Commissioners on issues related to the utility and service districts. The Benton County Surveyor’s Office files surveys of property lines, property line adjustment surveys, partition and subdivision plats and oversees the public land corner restoration program and the county road list. The Road Maintenance Division maintains 275 miles of hard surfaced roads and 170 miles of gravel roadways throughout Benton County and is responsible for surface/sign/traffic marking, vegetation, and bridges and drainage systems. Engineering Services is responsible for the transportation system design and planning, pavement management program, construction management, and site development review. The Special/Rural Public Transportation program provides public transportation options for persons with disabilities, persons older than 60 years of age, underserved populations, and rural communities.
The Records and Licenses Division is part of the Records & Elections Department. The Records and Licenses Division manages property records, such as, deeds, mortgages, liens, easements and subdivision plats among other public records kept safe for permanent retention. The County Clerk manages this division and the Elections & Passports Division. The department is responsible for multiple program areas including public property records, marriage licenses, county records center, dog licenses, board property tax appeal staff, domestic partnerships, civil marriage ceremonies, voter registration, election management, and passport applications.
The Sheriff’s Office provides professional public safety services with integrity and accountability. Services include animal control, civil process, concealed handgun licensing, courthouse security, emergency management, jail operations, law enforcement - patrol, law enforcement - investigations, parole & probation, and search & rescue. The Benton County Sheriff is elected at-large to a four-year term.