The Big Issues
BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY
- SB 233, authored by Sen. Aaron Freeman and sponsored by Rep. Mike Speedy, expands the amount of property exempt from Indiana’s business personal property tax from $20,000 to $40,000.
- The bill cleared the Senate 48-0 and was heard last week in the House Ways and Means Committee, where Aim testified in opposition. No vote was taken.
- During the Committee’s discussion, talk of a potential amendment emerged that would lower the depreciation floor, potentially worsening the impact of the bill dramatically. A formal amendment hasn’t been filed. Aim will be seeking additional information to help determine the likely negative fiscal impact on cities and towns. Meanwhile, please remind your legislators that any elimination of BPPT revenue should be accompanied by a state implemented dollar for dollar replacement.
- 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 seven 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, 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.
- Aim is working with senate sponsor Sen. Blake Doriot to make further improvements in hopes a compromise can be reached. The bill was negatively amended in the Senate Environmental Affairs committee earlier this week but lacked the support to get out of committee. No vote was taken by Chairman Mark Messmer and Senator Doriot is preparing another amendment that will be more amendable to local government.
- Earlier this session, SB 535 regarding extraterritorial jurisdiction, cleared the Senate 39-8.
- 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 current municipal rights in the 2 mile buffer. For municipalities under 95,000, they will now fall under the requirement for county commissioner approval if they adopt 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.
- The bill is being sponsored in the House by Rep. Steve Davisson and Rep. Doug Gutwein. The bill was assigned to the committee Rep. Gutwein chairs, the House Select Committee on Government Reduction, where it is scheduled to receive a hearing in the coming week. Aim is working with the stakeholders in hopes of reaching a workable compromise.
WATER AND SEWER ROW
- SB 193, authored by Sen. Bohacek of LaPorte, severely changes local decision making authority relative to water and sewer connections in the public right of way.
- Rep. Jim Pressel is carrying the bill in the House. Among the bill’s troubling provisions are allowing a property owner with a failing septic system to access the public right of way to connect to another unity’s water or sewer utility, and allows the unit that owns and operates the system being connected to waive the remonstrance waiver mandate for connecting.
- While the bill was amended in the Senate to require permitting approval by the local unit before connectivity can occur, Aim still has objections to the bill. We will continue working with stakeholders while the bill remains on the agenda of Chairman Soliday’s Utility, Energy, and Telecommunications Committee, where amendments such as PVC piping requirements are being considered.
BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY
- Spearheaded by the Governor and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, SB 563 was carried in the Senate by Sen. Travis Holdman. Rep. Todd Huston is shepherding the bill through the House.
- SB 563 is an economic development bill that modernizes the state’s tax credit menu and makes several other statutory changes impacting the state’s economic development programs.
- The Ways and Means Committee heard initial testimony on the bill this week. The bill, among other things, amends the Hoosier business investment tax credit, venture capital tax credit, and headquarters relocation tax credit, and establishes the small business innovation voucher and a new redevelopment tax credit. Aim is encouraged by the changes and believes more communities will see more private sector investment as a result.
AN AIM LEGISLATIVE MOMENT
“[House Bill 1166] tried to move forward various initiatives that help municipal officials operate more efficiently and effectively. Last week we reported that the Senate Local Government Chairman Senator Jim Buck was a little hesitant with some of the changes we were asking to make. He thought they were a lot of issues in the bill, which it is an all-encompassing local government omnibus efficiency bill. In conversations with him, we’re going to make a few small amendments to the bill. It sounds like we will now get a hearing either on March 28 or April 4. Which is good news – it keeps the bill moving.”
– Brian Gould, Aim Government Affairs Director
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