The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns has asked IFCA, as a member of IACT's Replace Don't Erase Coalition, for assistance in the final week of this year's General Assembly as follows:
Thank you for the overwhelming response to our many requests for help on existing legislative proposals that begin phasing out Indiana's personal property tax. Your assistance is making a difference and we've heard from many lawmakers that you've been in touch.
I know your time is valuable and this is a last-minute request, but we continue to need your help. Please come to Indianapolis on Monday, March 10, and make one-on-one contact with your legislators. We are working to make one final push to inform lawmakers of our concerns regarding PPT reform. While there has been significant evolution on this matter since the beginning of session, there is still much to say and saying it in person is how you can be most effective for your community.
We need your help telling legislators:
1. If something more than a study panel is going to advance during this legislative session, the Senate's plan (inserted into HB 1001) comes closer to addressing the concerns of municipal government than any other ideas currently being considered.
2. Tell your legislators youopposeany final legislative proposal that includes a county by county option to eliminate the tax on new equipment! County by county elimination via a COIT Council approach leaves too many cities, towns, counties, schools, libraries, townships and other local units with little to no voice in a decision to eliminate a relied upon source of revenue. What's being considered is NOT a local option and represents a serious step backwards for economic development and growth in our state!
Finally, I encourage you to contact Governor Pence and urge him to follow up on his openness for replacement revenues for losses caused by any elimination of the personal property tax via the exemption for small businesses. Any dollars lost to city and town government as a result of this proposal will have a detrimental effect on our ability to grow Hoosier communities and enhance the quality of life for our citizens.
A media release approved by the IACT Board of Directors is attached for your review as well.
Again, please come to Indianapolis on Monday and help us make one last push to be heard.
When: Monday, March 10, 9:00 a.m., EST
Where: 125 W. Market Street, Ste 100
IACT Conference Room (We'll meet for a quick briefing before heading across the street to the Statehouse)
Parking: Directly across the street in the Hilton parking garage.
Please RSVP to Natalie Hurt at
at your earliest convenience to let us know if you will be joining us in the office before heading to the statehouse.
*If you cannot attend the briefing at IACT at 9:00 a.m., but can make your way to Statehouse at any time on Monday, we strongly encourage you to do so!
Calls on Governor Pence to Follow-up on Openness for
INDIANAPOLIS - IACT announced today that the Senate's current personal property tax elimination (PPT) proposal, which was inserted into HB 1001 last week, demonstrates great movement from the Senate. If something more than a study panel is going to advance during this legislative session, the Senate's plan comes closer to addressing the concerns of municipal government than any other ideas currently being considered by lawmakers.
IACT praises both the House and Senate for pushing for a blue ribbon panel to further explore the impact of eliminating any portion of Indiana's PPT. We support a comprehensive review of how we fund local government in our state and an analysis of the tools used to grow our communities and attract new business. It is our hope that the blue ribbon council's review will be the impetus for change relative to many provisions that might negatively impact the health of Indiana's communities both today and in the future. The Senate has pushed for a study panel since the early days of the legislative session and we support this effort and expect to be an active participant should it pass.
In terms of remaining areas of concern, IACT continues to be intensely opposed to the county by county option to eliminate the tax on new equipment being pushed in the House. We continue to raise the red flag that this provision leaves too many cities, towns, counties, schools, libraries, townships and other local units with little to no voice in a decision to eliminate a relied upon source of revenue. What's being considered is NOT a local option and represents a serious step backwards for economic development and growth in our state. The language in this proposal represents the beginning of a complete phase out of the tax as counties will be gradually pressured into elimination and old equipment ages out and is replaced. It's a slippery slope and is certainly the most detrimental piece of PPT legislation still alive.
Due to some changes in the small business exemption, the Senate's latest proposal reduces the fiscal impact to local units of government from about $54 million to $6.5 million. When looking specifically at the loss to cities and towns, the estimated reduction in revenues could be as low as $2.4 million. While this reduction is much appreciated by city and town leaders, IACT encourages Governor Pence to follow up on his statements of being open to replacement revenues. We urge the Governor to call upon House and Senate leaders to mitigate any revenue losses to local units and avoid the property tax shift to homeowners associated with PPT elimination.
Compared to where we started in January, great strides have been made on the issue of PPT elimination. We look forward to continuing our work with the General Assembly and Governor Pence in the days ahead.
The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT): IACT is a coalition of municipal officials who seek to improve the quality of life in Indiana through effective government, and is a member of the National League of Cities. Founded in 1891, IACT is one of the oldest state municipal organizations in the country, with 470 cities and towns as members. IACT advocates for municipalities as the official voice of municipal government in Indiana, and promotes good government through education, training and leadership.
Replace Don't Erase: In an effort to communicate with one clear voice the consequences of eliminating all or some of the personal property tax without full replacement revenues, IACT invited the statewide organizations of all affected local units to join Replace Don't Erase. Our hope is that by working together we can effectively communicate the seriousness of eliminating some or all personal property tax revenues without a state implemented replacement of these dollars. The quality of our schools, public safety departments, infrastructure, programs and ability to develop livable communities depends on the limited resources currently available. Changes to these revenue streams need to be made with utmost deliberation and full consideration for how the funds will otherwise be generated.
House Bill 1301 passed the
Senate today 43-4. Because the bill was amended in the Senate, the bill must go
back to the House for a vote on whether the House concurs with the Senate
amendments. If the House concurs, the bill then goes to the Governor for his
This bill concerns
numerous building and life safety code issues, but the negative aspect of the
bill is that SECTION 5 would redefine Townhouses as Class 2 structures instead
of as Class 1 structures currently. This change takes fire safety backwards two
steps in Indiana:
1. Multi-family structures
that were previously classified as Apartments because they did not meet the
definition of Townhouse will now be classified as Townhouses. Thus,
multi-family buildings that were previously required to have fire sprinklers
will no longer be required to have them.
2. By putting the
separation wall requirements into statute, variances to Class 2 Townhouse walls
will not be permitted and cost-effective sprinkler systems cannot be
considered. This will make it nearly impossible to obtain sprinklering of
"Townhouses" as builders will be reluctant to incur the extra cost
and time to build Townhouses as Class 1 structures.
A copy of the bill can be
viewed by using the following link:
IFCA has taken a position
in opposition to these changes, and we need your help to change this bill.
1. Please email your State
Representative tonight or as early on Wednesday as possible. Simply ask your
State Representative to "Vote NO on the Concurrence to HB 1301". Feel
free to elaborate with further comments.
Please use the following
link if you do not know the name of your State Representative and to email your
House Bill 1301 was not
called down for second reading amendments on the floor of the Senate
yesturday. This means that it will be eligible for second reading either
Monday or Tuesday, depending upon the weather.
This bill concerns
numerous building and life safety code issues, but especially disturbing is the
fact that SECTION 5 would redefine Townhouses as Class 2 structures instead of
as Class 1 structures currently. By putting the separation wall requirements
into statute, variances will not be permitted. This will make it nearly
impossible to obtain sprinklering of "Townhouses", and obviously fire
and life safety will suffer by this backward step.
A copy of the bill can be
viewed by using the following link:
IFCA has taken a position
in opposition to these changes, and we need your help to change this bill. Sen.
Greg Walker of Columbus will offer amendments to address this issue, so we need
you to ask your State Senator to support him.
1. If you have
not already contacted your State Senator, please contact your State Senator at
home this weekend by phone or even better in person if possible. Simply ask
your State Senator to support Sen. Walker's amendments to HB 1301.
Feel free to elaborate with further comments.
2. If you cannot
talk to your State Senator this weekend, please email your State Senator.
Please use the following link if you do not know the name of your State Senator
and to email your State Senator:
There will be a special TIM Responder Training at the 100th Annual Purdue Road School March 11-12 in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Road School is an event has traditionally been attended by state and local transportation officials. This year there is a “Public Safety” track that includes the 4 hour version of the TIM Responder Training. The other Public Safety sessions are “Hazard Communications – The New Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Program and Training Requirements” and “IN-TIME Emergency Response Planning.” All responders are welcome to attend.
Click here to view the flyer that specifically highlights the TIM Responder training. The training is scheduled for Tuesday, March 11 from 1pm to 4:50pm. There is a free luncheon preceding the training for those registered to attend Road School. All responders taking the training need to register for Road School. There is a link for registration on the flyer. Please register as “Government” to obtain free registration.
If you have a local tow operator that wants to attend please see the contact information below to obtain free registration since they are not “government” employees.
If you have any questions please contact Karen Stippich,
Federal Highway Administration – Indiana Division 317-226-7122
First of all, thank you to all of you who personally or through staff were represented at the hearing on House Bill 1301 today! Several dozen uniformed personnel were there from as far away as Evansville, South Bend, Peru, and Ft. Wayne and many places in between.
Unfortunately the committee voted the bill out of committee by a 7-1 vote. Sen. Frank Mrvan was the sole dissenter, so if you live in his district please thank him for supporting the fire service.
To refresh your memory, this bill concerns numerous building and life safety code issues, but especially disturbing are the following:
1. HB 1301 would redefine Townhouses as Class 2 structures instead of as Class 1 structures currently. This action will eliminate fire sprinklers that are currently required in townhouse-like buildings that don’t meet the property line definition and thus are classified as apartments. In the future these buildings will be classified as townhouses and will not have sprinklers. Also, by putting separation wall requirements in statute, the Commission will not be able to grant variances to install sprinklers even if builder desires to do so.
2. HB 1301 would completely eliminate any local plan review of building construction plans. However, we were told by the Indiana Builders Association before the hearing that the bill will be amended to restore local review but make it simultaneous with state review.
Please be prepared to take further action as we prepare for the next steps.
A copy of the bill can be viewed by using the following link:
House Bill 1301 will be heard again this coming Monday, February 24, by the Senate Commerce Committee. This bill concerns numerous building and life safety code issues, but especially disturbing are the following:
1. HB 1301 would redefine Townhouses as Class 2 structures instead of as Class 1 structures currently. This action will make it more difficult to obtain sprinklering of Townhouses and thus detracts from fire and life safety.
2. HB 1301 would completely eliminate any local plan review of building construction plans. This also compromises fire and life safety.
IFCA has taken a position in opposition to these changes. Due to the brief time frame of the "short" legislative session, Monday will be the best chance to obtain any changes to these harmful provisions. We need your help to obtain any changes!
We need for each department to send at least one uniformed person to the hearing to show our opposition to these changes. The person will not need to testify, just to be there in a show of support for our position.
The hearing will be held in the Senate Chamber of the State House at 10:00.Please send someone to help assure that fire safety is not compromised in Indiana. To increase our participation, please bring chiefs or other uniformed personnel who are not members of IFCA or have them attend on their own. We need a big crowd!
The IAFC is requesting that members contact their respective Congressional Representative and letters have been provided to assist in making contact.
Affordable Care Act Call to Action
House, Senate Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Volunteer Firefighters Fairfax, Va., Dec. 11, 2013- Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) and Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) worked together to introduce bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3685/S. 1798) to exempt fire departments from a requirement to offer health insurance to their volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
The Protect Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act will amend the definition of “employee” under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to create a clear exemption for nominally compensated volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
The PPACA (P.L. 111-148) was passed in 2010 and contained many reforms to the American healthcare system. One of these reforms requires certain large employers to offer health insurance to their full-time employees. In September 2013, the IAFC sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to express concern that the IRS’ classification of volunteer firefighters as “employees” could potentially require certain fire departments to offer their volunteers health insurance under the PPACA.
Upon introduction of the new legislation, IAFC President and Chairman of the Board Chief William Metcalf stated, “The IAFC strongly supports this legislation to clarify the status of volunteer firefighters under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This is a bipartisan issue that could have serious impacts on staffing at fire departments across the United States. The IAFC looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to help ensure fire departments of all types are able to continue saving lives and serving their communities.”
H.R. 3685 has 31 cosponsors, and S. 1798 has 5 cosponsors.
Your Voice is Needed
The IAFC requests that you contact your members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor this legislation. IAFC has posted online draft letters to representatives and senators (Word doc) for you to use.
To find your representative, please go to the House of Representatives webpage and type in your zip code in the box at the top righthand corner. To find your senators, please use the “Find Your Senators” box at the top righthand corner of
the Senate webpage.
For further information on this issue, the IAFC has set up a PPACA resource page on the IAFC website.
The Public Safety Section will produce a monthly segment with Angela Cain of WTHR, Channel 13 News. Don't Miss it! Visit Channel 13 Focus page and click on Community Videos at: http://www.wthr.com/story/817967/focus