NewsPublic Affairs / January 16, 2018

House Committee Cautiously Begins Debate On Township Reform Bill

A House committee cautiously began debate on a bill that would force more than three hundred townships across the state to consolidate.2018 legislative session, township reform2018-01-16T00:00:00-05:00
Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
House Committee Cautiously Begins Debate On Township Reform Bill

Indiana Township Association President Debbie Driscoll tells a House committee her organization supports this session's township reform bill.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

A House committee cautiously began debate Tuesday on what the committee chair calls “a touchy subject” – township government reform.

The legislation would force townships with less than 1,200 people to merge with an adjacent township by 2023. That mandate would eliminate about 1,200 elected officials.

Indiana Township Association President Debbie Driscoll says her organization supports such reform.

“It’s an attempt to save us long-term by bettering our services and our finances and our accountability,” Driscoll says.

But the Indiana Farm Bureau opposes the move. Bureau lobbyist Katrina Hall says eliminating a layer of government robs rural Hoosiers of their voice.

“Forcing mergers of the smallest townships with the most populated will surely raise the taxes of those in the rural areas,” Hall says.

The committee expects to vote on the bill next week.

 

 

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