The Big Issues


  • Crawfordsville Senator Phil Boots’ anti-annexation bill, SB 94, which essentially ends involuntary annexation, cleared the Senate 36-13.
  • Aim opposed the bill and it heads over to the House, where it will be carried by Rep. Mahan.
  • A second anti-annexation bill, Sen. Buck’s SB 556, won approval in the Senate Local Government Committee. Resurrected from the 2018 session, this bill 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 approval. Aim has tried to stress this provision’s unintended consequences for builders and developers. However, to date our concerns have been dismissed.


  • Rep. Ed Clere is pushing a bill that seeks to change how municipalities can use TIF to incentivize students to stay and attend an institute of higher learning in their community.
  • HB 1596, which cleared the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee, intends 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.
  • Committee members believed the bill was written narrowly enough to only target the kind of tuition assistance program underway in Jeffersonville, Aim fears it goes broader. Aim will work to protect the uses of TIF in Jeffersonville and around the state, especially those that embrace a people focused economy, where talent retention and population growth are at the fore.


  • Chairman Buck’s Local Government Committee approved SB 535, regarding extraterritorial jurisdiction.
  • Authored by Sen. Boots, the bill initially eliminated nearly all municipal rights to regulate or exercise authority within the 2 mile “buffer” zone around a city or town’s corporate boundary. An amendment was accepted in committee to restore all municipal rights in the 2 mile buffer. For municipalities under 95,000, they will now fall under the requirement for county commissioner review if they implement a new comprehensive plan or exercise for the first time their extraterritorial jurisdiction rights.
  • Municipal extraterritorial eminent domain authority and extraterritorial jurisdiction over watercourses remain prohibited under the bill.


  • Rep. Ed Clere has a bill that 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 an analysis, and potential study, if a unit’s proposed regulation may increase or decrease the cost of housing in the county or municipality. Further, it requires a 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 on 2nd reading in the House and will be up for final adoption the week of February 11. More information regarding the bill’s fiscal impact can be found here.


  • Rep. Tony Cook of Cicero has a bill, HB 1166, forcing the municipal executive to appoint a school board member as one of their three appointments to the redevelopment commission. The House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee amended the bill and it was recommitted to the House Ways and Committee.
  • As amended, the bill requires that both the mayor and a school board appointee are designated as ex-officio members of the redevelopment commission. Both positions have will have voting authority, thus reconstituting municipal redevelopment commissions as six-member boards. The mayor will have tie-breaking power under this set up.
  • Sen. Victoria Spartz also has a bill, SB 549, converting school RDC positions from non-voting to voting positions. However, her bill is broader and does attempt to provide more transparency regarding the school district finances. It does appear that Sen. Spartz will attempt an amendment to remove this language and request a study committee regarding TIF.


“We all know that it’s a challenge for municipalities when they’re trying to bring in new businesses, particularly new restaurants, in obtaining alcohol permits. There is an alcohol bill this year being sponsored by Rep. Smaltz that has some really good language in it for cities and towns. It’s still probably the number one issue I hear about when I am out and about, is that we need more permits for the economic development standpoint, quality-of-life standpoint to bring those kind of businesses to our communities that people want and need in today’s environment. So this would allow the creation of entertainment districts in communities that would allow more permits to be available.”

– Aim CEO Matt Greller

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