County Treasurer Duties
The Treasurer has three very important roles in county government – tax collector, banker, and chief investment officer.
As the county’s tax collector, the Treasurer is responsible for gathering the resources necessary for local subdivisions to provide important services like police and fire protection, roads, schools, parks and libraries. The Treasurer also collects revenues for the county itself, which provides services including emergency management, public assistance, criminal prosecutions and many more.
Residents pay for these services primarily through taxes on real estate, levied by the county and by its various subdivisions and collected by the Treasurer. In addition to real estate taxes, the Treasurer collects taxes on manufactured homes, personal property, inheritance, cigarettes, and hotels. The Treasurer also collects license fees on vendors, special assessments (like storm water runoff fees), and fines and fees levied by other departments.
The county’s “banker,” the Treasurer is also tasked with keeping tax revenues safe after collection, and efficiently accounting for all money paid into and taken out of the county treasury. This role requires close cooperation with the Auditor, and as a part of the checks and balances of county government, the Treasurer makes daily reports of deposits and expenditures to the Auditor. The offices of the Treasurer and Auditor must also balance their financial statements monthly, and work closely to effectively account for all funds during required audits.
Serving as the county’s chief investment officer, the Treasurer invests county funds to ensure their safety, liquidity, and the best possible return. This role requires constant monitoring to maintain the county’s investment portfolio. The county’s Investment Advisory Committee holds the Treasurer accountable for this work, and requires the Treasurer to provide financial data, forecasting, and interest yield information on a quarterly basis to make sure the county’s investment goals are fully met.
In addition, the Treasurer serves on several boards, including the Board of Revision, reviewing property valuation appeals from residents; Budget Commission, monitoring local subdivision budgets; Data Processing Board, reviewing technological policies and upgrades; and Land Bank, returning blighted and forfeited properties to functional use.
Brad Cromes assumed his duties as Portage County Treasurer in February 2015, and was elected by Portage County voters to a full term in November 2016. Since taking office, Brad has sought not only to manage his office efficiently and transparently, but also to connect Portage County residents to the information they need to make sound financial choices.
Brad’s early achievements included modernizing the office’s website to provide more resources online, partnering with local banks to create a low-cost home improvement loan program, and launching an official presence for the office on Facebook. In his new term, Brad has continued that work by expanding access to inexpensive, easy to use payment options for taxpayers, and working with other officials to offer financial wellness and literacy programming for County residents.
Brad's calling to to public service came, as it does for many, from the examples set by members of his family during his childhood. His grandfather, a Korean War veteran and Teamster, instilled in him a passion for the political process. Brad's mother, Valerie, spent her career serving others as a caseworker at the Department of Job & Family Services, and his father, Martin, devoted his time to his church and his children's activities, despite long hours working as a farmer, mechanic, and laborer.
Their examples of hard work and service guided Brad's early years, and their belief and investment in him led him to become the first in his family to attend college. Brad chose to attend Hiram College in northern Portage County because of the deep sense of community he felt there, and during his college years he did his part to contribute to and nurture that community by serving two terms as President of the college’s Student Senate and as its first student observer to the Board of Trustees.
Seeking to apply the lessons he learned at home and Hiram to the larger community, Brad took a position after college with the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE), working on that entity's efforts to bring students to the region and keep them here by exposing them to its many cultural and community amenities. He often states that his time at Hiram and NOCHE led him to fall in love with the area – and, along with falling in love with his college sweetheart, Crestwood High School graduate, and future wife Lindsey – made a return inevitable.
After her graduation from Hiram, Brad and Lindsey enrolled in graduate school at The Ohio State University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management from the John Glenn School of Public Affairs and a Juris Doctorate from the Moritz College of Law (she earned a Doctorate from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine). While at Ohio State, Brad served as Vice President of the Public Interest Law Foundation, a group dedicated to providing access to legal services for underprivileged communities, and as a fellow at The Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Brad also interned in the office of Governor Ted Strickland, staffing the Governor’s School Funding Advisory Council at the Ohio Department of Education.
Brad and Lindsey were married returned to northeast Ohio, settling in Lindsey’s home town of Ravenna (where she began her veterinary practice in 2011). After helping lead a successful effort to repeal Senate Bill 5, Brad was appointed by the Board of Elections as that agency’s Deputy Director in 2012. Brad’s responsibilities at the Board included developing and monitoring the agency’s budget, recruiting and training precinct election officials, and managing a staff over 100 full- and part-time employees (and more than 500 precinct election officials). His work also included launching the Board’s first social media presence, creating an internship program for pursuing special projects, and developing a user-friendly guide to make the Board's policies easily accessible and understandable.
Since his appointment as Treasurer, Brad has continued to seek opportunities for improving his training and capacity to deliver high-quality service to Portage County residents. He earned recognition as a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)® from the Association of Government Accountants® in 2016, becoming one of fewer than 200 professional working in the state with that designation. He has also taken an active role with the County Treasurer’s Association of Ohio, serving on that body’s Legislative Committee and working to shape state policy to ensure local governments have the resources they need to serve residents.
Brad is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Portage County, Past-President of the Ravenna Kiwanis Club, and a member of the Community Action Council of Portage County Board, Hiram College Alumni Executive Board, and many other community organizations. He is an active member of the Portage County, Ohio, and American Bar Associations, and attends First Christian Church in Cuyahoga Falls.
When time allows, Brad enjoys taking advantage of Portage County’s terrific parks, and is a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Ohio State Buckeyes. He lives in Ravenna with Lindsey and their two sons.