Introduced House Bill (H)

Authored by

DIGEST

Dissolution of township government. Provides that on January 1, 2019, in all counties (except Marion County) the following occur: (1) All township governments are dissolved and all township powers and duties are transferred to the county (including township assistance, fire protection, cemetery maintenance, weed control, parks, fence viewing, and any township libraries). (2) The duties and responsibilities of the township trustee are transferred to the county executive or the county executive's designee. (3) The duties and responsibilities of the township board are transferred to the county fiscal body. Provides that on January 1, 2019, in all counties (except Marion County) Dissolution of township government. Provides that on January 1, 2019, in all counties (except Marion County) the following occur: (1) All township governments are dissolved and all township powers and duties are transferred to the county (including township assistance, fire protection, cemetery maintenance, weed control, parks, fence viewing, and any township libraries). (2) The duties and responsibilities of the township trustee are transferred to the county executive or the county executive's designee. (3) The duties and responsibilities of the township board are transferred to the county fiscal body. Provides that on January 1, 2019, in all counties (except Marion County) the following occur: (1) The transfer of powers and duties between a township and a county results in the transfer of the township's property, equipment, records, rights, contracts, and indebtedness. (2) All assets, debts, and contracts of a township are transferred to the county and the county assumes all township indebtedness. (3) The county may levy property taxes to pay township indebtedness or lease rental obligations incurred by a township only in the geographic area of the township that originally issued the debt or entered into the lease rental agreement, which comprises a taxing district for the payment of township indebtedness existing at the time of the transfer. Requires a county (excluding Marion County) to specify which township employees responsible for performing the duties and responsibilities of the township before its dissolution become county employees on January 1, 2019, responsible for performing the transferred township duties and responsibilities for the county. Changes all references to "township assistance" in the Indiana Code to "local assistance". Provides that local assistance is administered by an administrator as follows: (1) Before January 1, 2019, the administrator is the township trustee. (2) On January 1, 2019, the administrator is: (A) the township trustee of a township in Marion County; and (B) the county executive or county executive's designee of all other counties. Changes references in the Indiana Code from township trustee to administrator. Provides that beginning January 1, 2019, in all counties (except Marion County), the county executive administers the local assistance fund for the county in accordance with: (1) a county plan prepared and adopted by the county legislative body; and (2) local assistance standards. Beginning January 1, 2019, allows the county auditor of all counties (except Marion County) to make payments for claims payable from the county local assistance fund in advance of an allowance by the county executive. Makes provisions concerning distressed townships expire on January 1, 2019. Provides that effective January 1, 2019, in all counties (except Marion County), the county executive is responsible for providing fire protection and emergency services in the unincorporated areas of the county, and the powers and duties of township government and the township trustee related to providing fire protection and emergency services in the unincorporated areas of the county are transferred to the county. Requires the county legislative body to propose and adopt a county plan for provision of fire protection and emergency services in the unincorporated areas of the county through any combination of: (1) operating a county fire department; (2) contracting with or otherwise cooperating with any municipality, county, fire protection district, volunteer fire department, fire protection territory, or other entity; or (3) entering into mutual aid agreements. Provides that if a township is a participating unit in a fire protection territory or fire protection district, the county, on January 1, 2019: (1) shall assume the powers, duties, rights, responsibilities, and obligations of the township; and (2) may withdraw all or part of the township from the territory or district in accordance with the county fire plan. Provides that on January 1, 2019, for all counties (except Marion County): (1) establishes a county firefighting fund and maximum property tax levy for the county's firefighting fund; (2) establishes county firefighting powers and duties that are similar to the current township firefighting powers and duties; and (3) allows a county that establishes a county fire department to establish a merit system for the county fire department. Requires the department of local government finance to adjust maximum permissible property tax levies and property tax rates as necessary to account for transfers of duties, powers, and obligations. Makes provisions allowing townships to merge expire on January 1, 2019. (Under current law, these provisions do not apply to townships in Marion County.) ... View more