March 1, 2024

The Big Issues


  • As HB 1120 left the House, it limited the number of communities eligible for excess levy growth appeals by changing the threshold for qualification from 2% above the state’s assessed value growth 4%. It also made changes to adding and removing TIF parcels that could have disrupted economic development activities. Both of these provisions were removed from the bill during committee this week.
  • However, HB 1120 now extends the cap on the MLGQ, or the factor that determines how fast property tax levies may grow, one additional year so levy growth would be capped at 4% through 2026 when it would revert back to above 5%. This constitutes a significant fiscal impact on the budgets of all local governments, according to this fiscal analysis.
  • HB 1120, authored by Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) and sponsored by Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) passed the Senate Tax and Fiscal policy committee on Tuesday, February 27 with a vote of 13-0.


  • HB 1338 clarifies law enforcement authority to remove disruptive individuals from public buildings and offices if they are in violation of the functioning of those buildings. It also reinforces the ability of local units to establish policies for public meetings related to testimony length and establishing rules of decorum for elected officials and constituents alike.
  • Aim supports this bill because it provides additional clarity for law enforcement to enforce public order in public buildings. It also will help councils ensure their public meetings are conducted in an orderly and safe manner where constituents can hear and participate in the meetings.
  • Language was amended into the bill this week to make the Public Access Counselor serve at the pleasure of the Governor (previously appointed to 4-year terms) and require PAC opinions to use strict construction of existing state and federal statutes.
  • HB 1338, authored by Rep. J.D. Prescott (R-Union City) and sponsored by Sen. Scott Baldwin (R-Noblesville), passed the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law committee on Tuesday, February 27 with a vote of 5-2.


  • SB 256 allows IEDC’s Innovation Development Districts, which function very much like TIF allocation areas, to be designated on top of existing allocation areas if the executives of the units currently controlling the allocation areas agree. If they agree, they would be prohibited from extending or expanding allocation areas within the IDD until its expiration and prohibited from additional debt issuances on their own incremental assessed value. The increment in that area would subsequently go to the IEDC projects and the IDD.
  • SB 256 also adds back in the TIF language that was removed from HB 1120 regarding removing and adding parcels from TIFs. It also includes language lowering the agricultural base rate and providing a new procedure for public objection to controlled projects that change in scope after the petition and remonstrance window has ended.
  • SB 256, authored by Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Mishawaka) and sponsored by Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), will receive a final vote in the House on Monday, March 4.


  • HB 1121 creates new LIT expenditure rates that go directly to the county government. One is for acute care county hospitals at a possible rate of 0.1%. The other is an expansion of the jail LIT for Grant County at 0.5%. The expansion of LIT expenditure rates that go directly to counties without being distributed to underlying taxing units is increasingly a concern for cities and towns especially in counties where the county government has unilateral control over the LIT rates.
  • HB 1121 also includes an increased rate for the Knox County innkeepers tax and new food and beverage taxes in Hammond and Cicero.
  • HB 1121, authored by Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) and sponsored by Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) passed the Senate Tax and Fiscal policy committee on Tuesday, February 27 with a vote of 14-0.


  • SB 252 makes requirements for publishing in local newspapers less onerous by allowing more papers to qualify for publishing public notices, especially in areas with very few papers still in circulation. The municipality can now use any paper that circulates in their county and includes their website in the circulation numbers for qualification.
  • Aim supports this bill because it helps communities that have papers with decreasing circulation or papers that are being discontinued meet public notice requirements in a timely and affordable manner.
  • SB 252, authored by Sen. Jim Buck (R-Kokomo) and sponsored by Rep. Doug Miller (R-Elkhart), will receive a final vote in the House on Monday, March 4.


Listen to more about this week on the eighth episode of the Market Street to Main Street Podcast Series, Aim’s legislative episodes of the Hometown Innovations Podcast and a supplement to this e-newsletter. In this episode, Jennifer and Jenna discuss the end of conference committees, what we’re watching during the last weeks in session, and preparations already underway for 2025.

To listen to Market Street to Main Street, please visit The Terminal post and click the “play button” on the audio player. Or you can subscribe to Aim Hometown Innovations Podcast on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

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