January 10th, 2019
With due respect (and really, we’re not comparing it to a circus), the Indiana General Assembly is back in session and folks are filing for office … which makes us want to grab our top hats and do our best Hugh Jackman impression . You know you’re a political junkie when your social media feed yesterday was filled with candidates taking selfies as they officially filed to run for office and updates on bills filed in the state legislature. Three for Thursday is back from a holiday hiatus to keep you in the loop! And if you haven’t seen “The Greatest Showman” (with the aforementioned Hugh Jackman), treat yourself to an evening on your couch with some popcorn.

Primary Colors. Yesterday began the countdown to the February 9 filing deadline for local candidates and … oh, it seems so far away … the May 7 primary. Hamilton County Clerk Kathy Richards started her second week in the familiar territory of her old office herding area politicos. Richards reports 33 candidates filed on the first day. All eight of Hamilton County’s municipalities will elect officials this year including mayors, city clerks, city judges and city council members in both Fishers and Carmel. Stay tuned as we follow the candidates and the issues ahead.

They’re Back! While they had their organizational day back in November and began working on legislation shortly thereafter, the Indiana General Assembly is back in session and in full swing. Today (Thursday, January 9) is the deadline for filing both Senate and House bills, and we are closely monitoring our legislative priorities as they move through the session. We are pleased that Hamilton County’s own Tony Cook filed a substantive hate crimes bill and applaud IndyStar editorial columnist Tim Swarens on his observations regarding Cook’s insight and background on the issue. Earlier this week, Indiana Forward announced its initiative to move the legislation forward, siting Indiana’s lack of hate crime laws as sending an unwelcoming message to the people who live here and the businesses and talent considering making the Hoosier state their home. Meanwhile, join us on Friday morning at Conner Prairie for the Legislative Breakfast … it’s well worth an early start to your day!

Something to Keep You Awake at Night . Yikes. Here’s a conundrum: We’re all-too familiar with the scenario of a large retailer or big box that moves to a new location to update their digs … and the previous location remains vacant … seemingly forever. Apparently, there’s some aggressive legal gymnastics that are allowing those folks to substantially cut their property taxes on the empty facility. The result: A significant loss to municipal and school coffers. According to the New York Times,   Michigan’s state association of counties estimated  that dark-store appeals reduced local revenue from 2013 to 2017 by $100 million. In Texas, the  comptroller  said such appeals could end up costing local governments $2.6 billion a year. For more fodder for your nightmare, check out the NYT’s complete article here .