Seeking her first elective office, Klutz wants to use that knowledge to help the owners of 160,000 parcels in Allen County better understand their tax bills and how their properties are assessed. For the past seven years, the state has changed how property taxes are collected, and she would like to influence how – and whether – future changes are made.
“Taxpayers deserve to have elected officials review and analyze government operations to continue to provide needed services at a lower cost,” Klutz said, adding that she would also work to provide local governments with accurate and timely revenue forecasts so they can establish reasonable budgets.
Reef, who has a degree in accounting, knows he lacks Klutz's hands-on experience. “But I always look at new ideas. I can learn, and I have the customer-services skills to communicate with the public.”
Reef said he would work to control county spending and educate the public about available property tax credits, possibly scheduling days or evenings when property owners are invited to the office to ask questions.
The auditor supervises a staff of 22 employees and an office budget of $1.1 million.
Office at a glanceTerm: four years, beginning Jan. 1
Duties: As the county's chief financial officer, the auditor is responsible for handling all receipts and disbursements, creating financial statements, completing annual reports for state review and maintaining payroll for more than 1,900 employees. The office also handles all transfers of real property, maintains tax records, controls distributions of tax collections and manages the filing of all applications for tax exemptions and deductions allowable by state statute. The auditor is also secretary to the County Council.
Tera Klutz, Republican
Occupation: chief deputy auditor since 2002
Education: Elmhurst High School, Indiana University, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Family: Married, two children
Michael Reef, Dem- ocrat
Occupation: lead cashier, Pet Smart
Education: Bellmont High School, Brown Mackie College