The county government is a constitutional body, and is granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana, and by the Indiana Code.
County Council: The county council is the fiscal body of the county government. It has seven members, three of which are elected county-wide (commonly referred to at-large members) and four of which are elected from districts. District One includes Harrison, Montgomery, Taylor, and Wayne Townships including the Town of Gosport. District Two includes Washington Township including the Town of Spencer. District Three includes Jackson, Jennings, Lafayette, and Morgan Townships. District Four includes Clay, Franklin, Jefferson, and Marion Townships. All council members serve four-year terms with at-large members elected during Presidential election cycles and district members elected during the other election cycles. One of the council members serves as president and another as vice-president. The council is responsible for setting salaries, the annual budget, and special spending. The council also has limited authority to impose local taxes, in the form of an income and property tax that is subject to state level approval, excise taxes, and service taxes. Several local boards such as the Alcoholic Beverage Board and Library Board have a member or members appointed by the council.
Board of Commissioners: The executive body of the county is made of a board of commissioners with three members. The commissioners are elected county-wide, however each must reside in their respective districts, two of which are elected during Presidential election cycles and the other during the other election cycles. Each serves a four-year term. The District One member must reside in Harrison, Jackson, Jennings, Montgomery, Taylor, or Wayne Townships. The District Two member must reside in Clay, Franklin, or Washington Townships. The District Three member must reside in Jefferson, Lafayette, Marion, or Morgan Townships. One of the commissioners serves as president and another as vice-president. The commissioners are charged with executing the acts legislated by the state legislature, collecting revenue, and managing the day-to-day functions of the county government.
Court: The county has a Circuit Court. The judge on the court is elected to a term of six years and must be a member of the Indiana Bar Association.
County Officials: The county has several other elected offices, including sheriff, coroner, prosecutor, assessor, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor and clerk of the circuit court. Each of these elected officers serves a term of four years and oversees a different part of county government. Members elected to county government positions are required to declare party affiliations and to be residents of the county.