The county commissioners' primary duty is to levy the taxes to operate the county and to adopt a balanced budget for each calendar year. The commissioners fix the budget amount for each department of the county, but variances and increases can be permitted during the year if extraordinary circumstances can be shown. Other elected officials in the county are responsible for their own adopted budget and the county commissioners are responsible for the operation of budgets under the control of appointed department heads.

Also within their legislative capacity, the commissioners are responsible for adopting, amending and repealing all county ordinances (which are essentially laws of the county). These include traffic, zoning, planning and public safety ordinances, and any other ordinance concerning the general welfare of the county.