Indiana lawmakers are supporting efforts to make township governments more transparent.
No one spoke out in opposition to House Bill 1177 at the statehouse Wednesday. It would require each township to prepare a capital improvement plan for three years if their capital budget is more than one and a half times the township’s annual budget.
Indiana township governments oversee the maintenance of cemeteries, relief for struggling residents, and volunteer fire departments. Often times, rural townships have to save large amounts of money to purchase necessary equipment — most commonly fire engines.
Debbie Driskell is the Executive Director of the Indiana Township Association. She says even though taxpayers might see large surpluses, townships only draw revenue from taxes twice per year.
"In all of our research, they [township trustees] are using a December 31 cash balance," she says. "Which includes six months of operations going forward."
A series of amendments including one that loosens spending restrictions are expected to be added to the bill before it reaches the full house.