AIC eNewsletter
March 24, 2017

AIC Legislative Update

As the Indiana General Assembly approaches its next round of deadline dates for bill consideration, the pace of committee hearings once again quickened this week inside the Statehouse. David, Ryan and Christine attended nearly 20 committee hearings as bills were rapidly considered, amended, and passed in both House and Senate. Here are some of the highlights:
Current law allows public agencies to charge a printing and copying fee for responses to requests for public information, but not the time spent by staff to respond. This legislation would change this approach to allow a public agency to charge a set fee for time spent on responding to public records requests, if the request takes more than two hours to reasonably respond. Testimony on the bill showed examples of public records requests that took as many as 30 hours for a member of a county staff to respond to a voluminous request for public documents. The Senate Local Government Committee passed this bill unanimously, but included a waiver for documents recorded and bulk copies maintained in the County Recorder's office which have their own set of document fees under code.
HB 1350 Gaming Tax Distributions:
For several years, the gaming tax revenue the state has collected has been dwindling due to increased competition from neighboring states. However, under a deal that was struck several years ago with counties that host casinos and non-host counties alike, the guaranteed distribution of gaming revenue was set at $48 million to host counties and $33 million to all other counties. HB 1350, legislation on a wide variety of gaming issues, was amended this week in Senate Appropriations Committee to require that these distributions fluctuate downward if the industry's taxable receipts continue to decline as they have in recent years.
This legislation is the result of over a year's worth of work on behalf of the Recorders' Association, Surveyors' Association, the land title industry, and many other interested groups. The bill, among other things, moves away from a wide variety of set fees on recorded documents to establish one set fee for recording of a mortgage and one set fee for recording of any other document. The bill also sets guidelines for contractual relationships between the county and companies which purchase bulk copies of deeds and other recorded documents. This bill was amended in House Local Government Committee this week, and passed to full House consideration. AIC would like to thank Sen. Rod Bray of Martinsville for his significant time and assistance in authoring this bill.
This bill includes several slight changes to the functionality of Local Income Taxes. Supported by the Indiana Auditors' Association, this bill exchanges DLGF responsibility for providing exact ordinance and hearing requirements with general guidance for passing a LIT ordinance. The bill also requires DLGF to notify a county within 30 days if the ordinance does not meet the general requirements. Further, there are technical changes to how levy freeze rates are administered and require that the allocation of property tax credits must be on the basis of the percentage of property tax replacement revenue within a property category. Other ordinance and allocation rules are also affected, so please review this legislation if your office is interested. The bill passed Senate Tax and Fiscal Committee, and is eligible for consideration in front of the full Senate.
House Bill 1622 Posting of Roll Call Votes:
This legislation was created to require local units of government to post any roll call votes to the unit's website within 24 hours of the vote occurring. Logistically, for many counties this would be quite burdensome to comply with as there are few counties with in-house IT staff or a website contractor that allows for frequent and timely updating of the website. Most units of local government only maintain websites as a sign post on the internet with basic information on how to contact the county or town. After discussion with the bill authors and sponsors, the legislation was amended to apply only to counties over 100,000 population and certain size municipalities that are more likely to be able to comply. The bill passed Senate Local Government Committee and is available for consideration by the full Senate next week.
Many other bills of high importance will be considered in the coming week. Keep an eye out for news on road funding, property tax assessment processes, and tax bill deadlines. Please let us know if you have any questions about these or other bills of interest to you!

In This Issue
INDOT District Meetings: Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) engages in a proactive and continuous public involvement process during all phases of development, including planning and continuing through construction.  However, prior to the delivery of a proposed project, INDOT must first coordinate planning, programming and project selection activities with a variety of key transportation stakeholders.  The purpose of this coordination is to develop a listing of projects for consideration, evaluation/screening and upon approval, inclusion into the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

INDOT District Meetings
  • March 28th, 2017 - Seymour 
  • March 29th, 2017 - Vincennes
  • March 30th, 2017 - Crawfordsville
  • April 11th, 2017 - LaPorte
  • April 12th, 2017 - Fort Wayne
  • April 13th, 2017 - Greenfield

AIC Institute Legal & Ethical Class: March 30

Quick Link to Registration  

Join us on Thursday, March 30 for the AIC Institute class on Legal & Ethical Issues. Registration is now open and you can attend the class 3 different ways via attending in person, logging into a live webinar from your own office, or watching the recorded webinar at a later time. The registration fee remains $60 for either version.

Date: Thursday, March 30
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (EDT)
Location: Ice Miller Downtown Indianapolis Office (One American Square, Suite 2900, Indianapolis 46282)
Cost: $60
AIC Institute Elective Credits: 5

Click HERE for more details and to Register Now.

This course will look at legal and ethical implications within the county offices focusing on meetings, the Open Door Law, Access to Public Records Act, and ways to mitigate risk with contracts. They will also gain a better understanding of when public notice is necessary for meetings, how to announce said meetings, and the distribution of minutes or memoranda.
Your Help Needed: Third Grade Essay Contest Promotion

The Association of Indiana Counties will once again hold its Third Grade County Government Essay Contest in conjunction with our 2017 District Meetings this May.  However, we need your help! We kindly ask that you personally distribute the flyer on the backside of this printout to third grade teachers in your county. We have found over the years there is greater participation from schools in districts where county officials are directly involved with promoting the contest.

NEO Guidebook Available

The Guide to Indiana County Government is published every other year and distributed for free to attendees of the AIC Newly Elected Officials Training. We do make extra copies available for purchase for $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

This guidebook is a detailed book that contains the roles and responsibilities of county elected offices and the Indiana Code that determines those responsibilities. Because the roles of county government sometimes changes when new laws are introduced this guidebook is updated every two years. The 2017 guidebook is now available but quantities are limited. Order while supplies last.

Click on the attached order form for more information.

Click here to download order form
AIC 2016 Annual County Factbooks Available

The AIC Annual County Factbook is a 181 page resource that offers detailed salaries for the most common job titles in county government. Detailed information on employee benefits and personnel numbers for county departments are also included along with budget information, road information, tax information, etc.

Data for most counties is available and is grouped by population type, making it easy to compare your county's data with similiar-sized counties.

Counties receive three complimentary copies which were mailed in August to the County Auditor for distribution - one each to the commissioner president, county president and county auditor.

Click here to download the order form.
Apex Health Benefits Tips

In addition to aerobic activities, don't forget to do strength training activities twice a week. Activities that build strength include lifting weights, doing push-ups and sit-ups, working with resistance bands, or heavy gardening.
  In Good Health,
Apex Wellness Team