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Government and Fiscal Policy

Annexation

As Indiana cities and towns have more frequently experienced fiscal pressures from declining general revenues and tax cap loss, many of them have looked to annexation as a way to expand their tax base to lower property tax rates on existing homeowners and business taxpayers and to provide more dollars generally for the city or town.

Current annexation law requires a signature petition from objectors representing at least 65 percent of the landowners or 75 percent of the assessed value of the proposed area to even file in court for review of the annexation. This threshold is higher than any other citizen petition required in Indiana law and does not provide any assurance of stopping the annexation.

Most proposed annexations are promoted with inadequate fiscal plans that lack details about services to be provided and that do not include specifics about how tax burdens will change for those being annexed. Annexation is also a way for municipalities to expand their “two-mile fringe” zoning area beyond that originally approved by the county commissioners. Landowners subjected to annexation proposals need more information and more effective ways to stop unwanted movement of city and town boundaries.

Session goals:

  • Eliminate all procedures that require objecting landowners to petition a court of law for relief.
  • Retain focus on landowners in the remonstrance procedure.
  • Lower petition remonstrance threshold to simple majority as it applies to a voluntary annexation.
  • Municipality must provide meaningful and detailed fiscal plans for any proposed annexation.
  • Limit extension of municipal extraterritorial jurisdiction in “two-mile fringe” by requiring county commissioner approval.

The Local Government and Fiscal Policy Advisory Group is a formal group of Indiana Farm bureau members that meet to discuss issues relating to the local government and finance issues in Indiana. They make policy recommendations and provide guidance for legislative issues.


Government and Fiscal Policy Advisory Group Report

On Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, the new Government and Fiscal Policy Advisory Group met for the first time. Agenda items included: changes in public policy team, role of policy advocacy groups, federal tax issues, 2013 tax and local government legislation, resolutions committee results, interim study committees, 2014 legislative session and the county statistical report.


For the latest information on local government and fiscal policy advisory group issue, contact
Katrina Hall, Director State Government Relations
Tel: 317-692-7805 | KHall@infarmbureau.org

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