February 7, 2020
The Big Issues
CENTRAL INDIANA REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
- SB 350 would allow the municipalities and counties in central Indiana to create a new regional development authority as a pilot framework for regional collaboration on a comprehensive economic development strategy for the region.
- Aim supports this bill but, of course, would like to see it become a statewide program with new revenue sources. The end goal is to have a structural framework along with a sustainable, long-term funding mechanism for all regions throughout the state – enabling these communities to make strategic investments in capital projects that benefit regional economies.
- SB 350, authored by Senator Travis Holdman, passed the Senate 48-1 on Tuesday. We look forward to continuing this conversation with our partners in Central Indiana and other regional partners across the state who could also benefit from the structure provided in SB 350.
REVIEW OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE TAXES
- SB 183 would create new reporting requirements for all local units that receive food and beverage tax revenue, including details of all of the expenditures using this revenue, providing check numbers and a description of every expenditure dating back to 2017.
- Aim opposes this bill because it creates more unnecessary oversight of food and beverage taxes by the state. We believe food and beverage taxes should be created and overseen locally to give communities more flexibility in how they finance their development.
- SB 183, authored by Senator Mike Gaskill, passed the Senate 44-5 on Tuesday. We will be sharing our concerns about these onerous reporting requirements with key fiscal leaders in the House.
BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION
- Under current law, if a taxpayer owns personal property with an acquisition value of $40,000 or less, they are exempt from business personal property tax liability. SB 385 would change this so the assessed value (including depreciation) is used to calculate the exemption.
- Aim opposes this bill because more businesses will qualify for the exemption and local governments will lose more revenue from a continued chipping away at the business personal property tax without a sustainable replacement.
- SB 385, authored by Senator Aaron Freeman, passed the Senate with a vote of 40-9 on Tuesday.
- HB 1061 would allow property owners to subdivide their land into smaller parcels by deed without the approval of local zoning or planning commissions, ignoring lot size requirements.
- Aim opposes this bill because it would allow for the creation of unplanned subdivisions and reduce municipalities’ ability to plan the footprint of their services to ensure that all property owners are properly served.
- HB 1061, authored by Representative Jeff Ellington, was not called for a vote in the House of Representatives, and is now dead.
ZONING AND MANUFACTURED HOMES
- SB 148 would preempt some local zoning regulations for mobile and manufactured homes, including from requiring permanent foundation systems that are incompatible with a manufactured home or more than one permanent foundation system.
- We question why this legislation to further reduce local control and zoning authority is necessary, but it could also easily be amended with more stringent preemptions of local zoning authority, including preventing municipalities from regulating aesthetics of new homes.
- SB 148, authored by Senator Blake Doriot, passed the Senate 32-15 on Monday.
AN AIM LEGISLATIVE MOMENT
[Investment Hubs is] a long-term initiative for the organization and SB 350 paves the way. . . It did come out of the senate before the halfway point but in a slightly reduced, water downed fashion. It’s a central Indiana pilot program and doesn’t contain any revenue raising measures. It’s a good first step, a little positive momentum heading into the second half of session and future sessions. Obviously, we would prefer it to be a statewide piece of legislation, but we’re happy to see it as a pilot program and something that we can work from and continue to expand it and build it statewide.
– Matt Greller, Aim CEO
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