The Big Issues


  • Rep. Ed Clere’s 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, cleared the House earlier this week.
  • The bill is now a much broader bill with new 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 limitations on how municipalities can aid school districts. 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.
  • Rep. Clere has committed to working through our concerns on HB 1596 and we are discussing the potentially serious consequences of the bill with the appropriate senators. Please review the bill and send Aim examples of projects you have undertaken with TIF funds that would not have been possible if this bill had been in effect at the time the project was funded.


  • Rep. Doug Miller of Elkhart authored HB 1266, a bill that seeks to mandate that local stormwater regulations cannot be more stringent than related requirements of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
  • As amended, the bill gives locals only five business days to either approve or deny a stormwater permit – an unbelievably significant decrease from today’s 28 day allowance. If a municipality fails to respond in 48 hours, the permit is considered approved. If a stop work order is needed on a project that was approved by default, the municipality must give the party an advisory warning. The party will then have 72 hours to cure the violation before a stop work order can be issued and a shutdown can occur.
  • The bill advanced to the Senate and Aim is working with Sen. Blake Doriot, the senate sponsor, to make further improvements in hopes a compromise can be reached.


  • SB 623 handily cleared the Senate this week. The bill, authored by Sen. Brian Buchanan, seeks to remedy an issue that has been plaguing local governments nationwide in recent years, dark store appeals.
  • 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.
  • The bill does have some reimbursement requirements that will impact local units. However, we are excited to work with House sponsor Rep. Donna Schaibley to address our concerns and keep the bill’s positive language moving in the right direction.


  • There are multiple bills that include gaming language that are moving forward this session. SB 66 and SB 552 both contain language impacting Indiana’s casino and racino gaming industries.
  • Among the many provisions of note are the legalization of sports betting via mobile app, faster implementation of table games at racinos, allowing the Gary riverboat to convert to an inland based operation, and allowing the Indiana Gaming Commission the ability to solicit bids and award a license for a land based casino in Terre Haute.
  • There are many provisions in these bills that concern the various stakeholders involved. Aim will remain engaged in the second half of the legislative session to determine how all of these changes will impact local units in terms of revenue sharing and more.


  • One of Sen. Jim Buck’s annexation bills, SB 556, allowed county commissioners to review and deny an annexation constituting more than 5% of a municipality’s assessed value. Further, a municipality could not, 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 were actively engaged on this bill. On third reading in the Senate the bill failed due to lack of a constitutional majority.
  • The Senate deadline came and went this week and SB 556 was not called down again. The language in SB 556 is effectively dead for this legislative session.


“[Aim] took a position to support the passage of the bias crimes, or hate crimes legislation, this legislative session. We feel like it is an important step for economic development, recruiting talent to the state, and that we need to certainly have that box checked when we are being compared to other states around the country.”

– Aim CEO Matt Greller

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