House Bill 1177 – Township Government Issues
Authored by Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville)

Requires a township to prepare a capital improvement plan for the ensuing three years if the balance in certain capital improvement funds in the preceding year exceeds 150% of the township’s annual budget estimate. Prohibits the township from collecting property taxes for certain capital improvement funds in the ensuing year unless the township has adopted a capital improvement plan.

Chamber Position: Support

The Latest: Passed the Senate Local Government Committee 8-0.

Indiana Chamber Action/Commentary: The Chamber testified in support of this bill requiring a township to establish a capital improvement plan when its cash balances are excessive. This is primarily designed to achieve greater transparency. Some townships claim they need to build up funds in order to make future, substantial capital improvements. Fine, but they should be obligated to let the taxpayers in on the game plan. The public deserves to be informed of expenditure plans, and the plan should be vetted at a public hearing. And the plan should be followed. These things are fundamental to good governance. The Senate, without explanation, removed a provision that called for a study of volunteer fire departments, which are the mechanism through which a majority of townships provide fire protection to its citizens.

Resource: Bill Waltz at (317) 264-6887 or e-mail: [email protected]