The Big Issues
- One of Sen. Jim Buck’s annexation bills, SB 556, allows county commissioners to review and deny an annexation constituting more than 5% of a municipality’s assessed value. Further, a municipality cannot, in a single annexation or collectively, annex land constituting more than 15% of their assessed value in a calendar year without county commissioner review.
- Aim and Aim members have heavily engaged on this bill. On third reading in the Senate, the bill failed due to lack of a constitutional majority. A vote tally can be found here.
- While SB 556 remains on the calendar and eligible for another vote because it received at least 20 votes, it is unlikely to be called again. Where it applies, please reach out to your Senator and thank them for voting no and ask them to maintain their position should the bill be called up again on Monday or Tuesday.
CURRENT USES OF TIF
- Rep. Ed Clere continues to push HB 1596, a bill that was originally designed to target initiatives such as Jeffersonville’s Promise, a program that uses TIF dollars to give high school graduates the ability to attend Ivy Tech Community College.
- The bill was amended on 2nd reading in the House and is now a much broader bill with serious consequences regarding current allowable uses of TIF dollars. Among the bill’s new provisions are requirements to make certain findings to expend TIF dollars outside of the TIF allocation area and severe limitations on how municipalities can aid school districts. These limitations do not acknowledge how talent retention and population growth are drivers of economic development in today’s world. We believe this is a conversation far beyond the scope of what was originally contemplated as this bill was working its way through the committee process.
- Continue talking with your lawmakers about the uses of TIF and ask them to vote NO on 1596 and any bill that seeks to turn the clock backwards on municipal options that help enhance the quality of life and attract or retain talent in Indiana.
- Rep. Ed Clere authored HB 1625, which places extremely onerous requirements on cities and towns regarding the preparation of various fiscal analyses and housing studies.
- The bill requires that a community prepare a fiscal analysis if a unit’s proposed regulation may directly or indirectly increase or decrease the cost of housing in the municipality. Further, it requires every municipality to annually prepare: (1) a housing affordability report; and (2) a housing fee report. It requires the municipality to post the reports on the municipality’s web site and provides that a municipality may not impose any housing related fee that is not: (1) included in the fee report; or (2) posted on the municipality’s web site.
- HB 1625 was amended this week on second reading in a manner that did not cure the many onerous, costly, and unnecessary components of the bill. Despite great engagement of Aim members, the bill moved over to the Senate (view the vote tally) where it will be sponsored by Sen. Mark Messmer.
- Sen. Jeff Ratz authored SB 566, allowing redevelopment commissions in counties having a population of more than 10,000 to establish a TIF program for residential housing, a term defined as single family dwellings.
- Aim conveyed our support for the bill, citing the need for more tools for communities where there is a clear housing need and where this program could close a financing gap that couldn’t be closed without assistance.
- Caution, however, was encouraged to ensure private sector accountability is maintained and developers and builders are supporting their projects and providing enough skin in the game – especially since these projects will not generate much increment.
- SB 623, authored by Sen. Buchanan, seeks to remedy an issue that has been plaguing local governments nationwide in recent years, dark store assessments.
- In short, the bill mandates that the assessed value of a commercial property, for 10 years after construction, be assessed using the actual cost of construction and land, rather than the dark store method. In addition to new construction, the bill allows for the reassessment of existing properties built within the last 10 years, using construction land costs to determine assessed value.
- While the bill is a step in the right direction, it also allows a county fiscal body to adopt an ordinance mandating that all impacted units be required to fund property tax appeals that are determined to be “uncommon and infrequent.”
AN AIM LEGISLATIVE MOMENT
“[House Bill 1625] would require cities, towns, and counties in the state, in some instances, to do a housing impact analysis on any regulation, any ordinance we pass that has an impact on the housing market. We have to identify what that impact is and then share it, also requires other things as well like posting fees on a website. We understand that the goal was to get at the issue of housing, housing affordability, market based housing, things of that nature. We don’t feel like this is the approach though. We don’t see where the benefit is to get more housing starts in Indiana, to provide more housing opportunities for folks around the State. This just adds more bureaucracy, more red tape to the process, more regulation for local governments really making it more difficult and adding more time to the process. We’ll continue to work on the bill on the Senate side.”
– Aim CEO Matt Greller
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