Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1235

_____


DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 6-1.1-20 .

Synopsis: Bonds and leases property tax referendum. Replaces the remonstrance and petition process used to object to a political subdivision's proposed tax to pay debt service or lease payments with a referendum of the voters residing in the political subdivision.

Effective: Upon passage; July 1, 2000.





Crooks




    January 10, 2000, read first time and referred to Committee on Ways and Means.







Introduced

Second Regular Session 111th General Assembly (2000)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
Additions: Whenever a new statutory provision is being enacted (or a new constitutional provision adopted), the text of the new provision will appear in this style type. Also, the word NEW will appear in that style type in the introductory clause of each SECTION that adds a new provision to the Indiana Code or the Indiana Constitution.
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HOUSE BILL No. 1235



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning taxation.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-20-3.1; (00)IN1235.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 6-1.1-20-3.1 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 3.1. A political subdivision may not impose property taxes to pay debt service or lease rentals without completing the following procedures:
        (1) The proper officers of a political subdivision shall:
            (A) publish notice in accordance with IC 5-3-1 ; and
            (B) send notice by first class mail to any organization that delivers to the officers, before January 1 of that year, an annual written request for such notices;
        of any meeting to consider adoption of a resolution or an ordinance making a preliminary determination to issue bonds or enter into a lease and shall conduct a public hearing on a preliminary determination before adoption of the resolution or ordinance.
        (2) When the proper officers of a political subdivision make a preliminary determination to issue bonds or enter into a lease, the officers shall give notice of the preliminary determination by:
            (A) publication in accordance with IC 5-3-1 ; and
            (B) first class mail to the organizations described in subdivision (1)(B).
        (3) A notice under subdivision (2) of the preliminary determination of the political subdivision to issue bonds or enter into a lease must include the following information:
            (A) The maximum term of the bonds or lease.
            (B) The maximum principal amount of the bonds or the maximum lease rental for the lease.
            (C) The estimated interest rates that will be paid and the total interest costs associated with the bonds or lease.
            (D) The purpose of the bonds or lease.
            (E) A statement that any owners of real property within the political subdivision who want to initiate a petition and remonstrance process against referendum on the proposed debt service or lease payments must file a petition that complies with subdivisions (4) and (5) not later than thirty (30) days after publication in accordance with IC 5-3-1.
        (4) After notice is given, a petition requesting the application of a petition and remonstrance process referendum may be filed by the lesser of:
            (A) two hundred fifty (250) five hundred (500) owners of real property within the political subdivision; or
            (B) ten percent (10%) of the owners of real property within the political subdivision.
        (5) Each petition must be verified under oath by at least one (1) qualified petitioner in a manner prescribed by the state board of accounts before the petition is filed with the county auditor under subdivision (6).
        (6) Each petition must be filed with the county auditor not more than thirty (30) days after publication under subdivision (2) of the notice of the preliminary determination.
        (7) The county auditor must file a certificate and each petition with:
            (A) the township trustee, if the political subdivision is a township, who shall present the petition or petitions to the township board; or
            (B) the body that has the authority to authorize the issuance of the bonds or the execution of a lease, if the political subdivision is not a township;
        within fifteen (15) business days of the filing of the petition requesting a petition and remonstrance process. referendum. The

certificate must state the number of petitioners that are owners of real property within the political subdivision.
If a sufficient petition requesting a petition and remonstrance process referendum is not filed by owners of real property as set forth in this section, the political subdivision may issue bonds or enter into a lease by following the provisions of law relating to the bonds to be issued or lease to be entered into.

SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-20-3.2; (00)IN1235.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 6-1.1-20-3.2 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 3.2. If a sufficient petition requesting the application of a petition and remonstrance process a referendum has been filed as set forth in section 3.1 of this chapter, a political subdivision may not impose property taxes to pay debt service or lease rentals without completing the following procedures: until a majority of the individuals who vote in a referendum conducted under the following requirements approves imposition of the tax for the calendar year following the year in which the referendum is conducted:
        (1) The proper officers of the political subdivision shall give notice of the applicability of the petition and remonstrance process by:
            (A) publication in accordance with IC 5-3-1; and
            (B) first class mail to the organizations described in section 3.1(1)(B) of this chapter.
        A notice under this subdivision must include a statement that any owners of real property within the political subdivision who want to petition in favor of or remonstrate against the proposed debt service or lease payments must file petitions and remonstrances in compliance with subdivisions (2) through (4) not earlier than thirty (30) days or later than sixty (60) days after publication in accordance with IC 5-3-1.
        (2) Not earlier than thirty (30) days or later than sixty (60) days after the notice under subdivision (1) is given:
            (A) petitions (described in subdivision (3)) in favor of the bonds or lease; and
            (B) remonstrances (described in subdivision (3)) against the bonds or lease;
        may be filed by an owner or owners of real property within the political subdivision. Each signature on a petition must be dated and the date of signature may not be before the date on which the petition and remonstrance forms may be issued under subdivision (3). A petition described in clause (A) or a remonstrance described in clause (B) must be verified in compliance with

subdivision (4) before the petition or remonstrance is filed with the county auditor under subdivision (4).
        (3) The state board of accounts shall design and, upon request by the county auditor, deliver to the county auditor or the county auditor's designated printer the petition and remonstrance forms to be used solely in the petition and remonstrance process described in this section. The county auditor shall issue to an owner or owners of real property within the political subdivision the number of petition or remonstrance forms requested by the owner or owners. Each form must be accompanied by instructions detailing the requirements that:
            (A) the carrier and signers must be owners of real property;
            (B) the carrier must be a signatory on at least one (1) petition;
            (C) after the signatures have been collected, the carrier must swear or affirm before a notary public that the carrier witnessed each signature; and
            (D) govern the closing date for the petition and remonstrance period.
        Persons requesting forms may not be required to identify themselves and may be allowed to pick up additional copies to distribute to other property owners. The county auditor may not issue a petition or remonstrance form earlier than twenty-nine (29) days after the notice is given under subdivision (1). The county auditor shall certify the date of issuance on each petition or remonstrance form that is distributed under this subdivision.
        (4) The petitions and remonstrances must be verified in the manner prescribed by the state board of accounts and filed with the county auditor within the sixty (60) day period described in subdivision (2) in the manner set forth in section 3.1 of this chapter relating to requests for a petition and remonstrance process.
        (5) The county auditor must file a certificate and the petition or remonstrance with the body of the political subdivision charged with issuing bonds or entering into leases within fifteen (15) business days of the filing of a petition or remonstrance under subdivision (4), whichever applies, containing ten thousand (10,000) signatures or less. The county auditor may take an additional five (5) days to review and certify the petition or remonstrance for each additional five thousand (5,000) signatures up to a maximum of sixty (60) days. The certificate must state the number of petitioners and remonstrators that are owners of real property within the political subdivision.


         (1) The school property tax control board shall take the steps necessary to cause a referendum to be conducted if a school corporation makes the preliminary determination to issue bonds or enter into a lease. The local government tax control board shall take the steps necessary to cause a referendum to be conducted if a political subdivision other than a school corporation makes the preliminary determination to issue bonds or enter into a lease.
        (2) The question to be submitted to the voters in the referendum must read as follows:
            "Shall the political subdivision impose a property tax rate that does not exceed _____________ (insert amount) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation to pay lease or bond payments (whichever applies) for the purpose of ________ .".
        (3) The school property tax control board or local government tax control board shall act under IC 3-10-9-3 to certify the question for a vote at the referendum to the county election board of each county in which any part of the political subdivision lies. Each county election board shall, upon receiving the question certified by the tax control board, call a meeting to make arrangements for the referendum.
        (4) The referendum must be held in the next primary or general election in which the residents of the political subdivision are entitled to vote after certification of the question under IC 3-10-9-3. However, if the earliest primary or general election is more than six (6) months after certification by the school property tax control board or local government tax control board, the referendum must be held at a special election conducted not less than sixty (60) days after the question is certified to the county election board or boards by the school property tax control board or local government tax control board.
        (5) The political subdivision shall advise each affected county election board of the date the political subdivision desires the referendum to be held. If practicable, the referendum must be held on the day specified by the political subdivision.
        (6) The referendum must be held under the direction of the county election board. The county election board shall take all steps necessary to carry out the referendum.
        (7) Not less than ten (10) days before the date the referendum is to be held, the county election board shall cause notice of the question that is to be voted upon at the referendum to be

published in accordance with IC 5-3-1. If the referendum is not conducted at a primary or general election, the political subdivision in which the referendum is to be held shall pay all of the costs of holding the referendum.
        (8) A county election board shall cause a question certified to it by the school property tax control board or local government tax control board to be placed on the ballot in the form prescribed by IC 3-10-9-4. The county election board shall also cause an adequate supply of ballots and voting equipment to be delivered to the precinct election board of each precinct in which the referendum is to be held.
        (9) All of the registered voters residing in the political subdivision are entitled to vote in a referendum held under this section.
        (10) A precinct election board shall count the affirmative votes and the negative votes cast in the referendum and shall certify the two (2) totals to the county election board of each county in which a referendum is held under this section. The county election board of each county shall, immediately after the votes cast in the referendum have been counted, certify the results of the referendum to the school property tax control board or local government tax control board.
        (11) Upon receiving the certification of all of the votes cast in a referendum held under this section, the school property tax control board or local government tax control board shall promptly certify the result of the referendum to the state board of tax commissioners.
        (12) If a majority of the individuals who voted in the referendum voted "yes" on the referendum question, the state board of tax commissioners, upon being notified in the manner described in this section of the result of the referendum, shall take prompt and appropriate steps to notify the political subdivision that the political subdivision is authorized to impose a property tax to pay the proposed debt service. The political subdivision may not impose a property tax exceeding the amount approved in the referendum.

        (6) (13) If a greater number of owners of real property within the political subdivision sign a remonstrance than the number that signed a petition, individuals who voted in the referendum voted "no" on a referendum question under this section, the proposed bonds petitioned for may not be issued or the proposed lease petitioned for may not be entered into. The proper officers

of the political subdivision may not make a preliminary determination to issue bonds or enter into a lease for the controlled project defeated by the petition and remonstrance process referendum under this section or any other controlled project that is not substantially different within one (1) year after the date of the county auditor's county election board's certificate under subdivision (5). (10). Withdrawal of a petition carries the same consequences as a defeat of the petition.
        (7) (14) After a political subdivision has gone through the petition and remonstrance process set forth held the referendum required in this section, the political subdivision is not required to follow any other remonstrance or objection procedures under any other law relating to bonds or leases designed to protect owners of real property within the political subdivision from the imposition of property taxes to pay debt service or lease rentals. However, the political subdivision must still receive the approval of the state board of tax commissioners required by IC 6-1.1-18.5-8 or IC 6-1.1-19-8.

SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-20-9; (00)IN1235.1.3. -->     SECTION 3. IC 6-1.1-20-9 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 9. (a) When the proper officers of a political subdivision decide to issue bonds payable from property taxes to finance a public improvement, they shall adopt an ordinance or resolution which sets forth their determination to issue the bonds. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the political subdivision may not advertise for or receive bids for the construction of the improvement until the expiration of the latter of:
        (1) the time period within which taxpayers may file a petition for review of or a remonstrance against requesting a referendum on the proposed issue; or
        (2) the time period during which a petition for review of the proposed issue is pending before the state board of tax commissioners.
    (b) When a petition for review of a proposed issue is pending before the state board of tax commissioners, the board may order the political subdivision to advertise for and receive bids for the construction of the public improvement. When the board issues such an order, the political subdivision shall file a bid report with the state board of tax commissioners within five (5) days after the bids are received, and the board shall render a final decision on the proposed issue within fifteen (15) days after it receives the bid report. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, a political subdivision may not enter into a contract for the construction of a public improvement while a petition

for review of the bond issue which is to finance the improvement is pending before the state board of tax commissioners.

SOURCE: ; (00)IN1235.1.4. -->     SECTION 4. [EFFECTIVE UPON PASSAGE] (a) IC 6-1.1-20-3.1 , IC 6-1.1-20-3.2 , and IC 6-1.1-20-9 , all as amended by this act, do not apply to a proposal to issue bonds or to enter into a lease if, before July 1, 2000, the political subdivision holds a public hearing on a preliminary determination to issue bonds or enter into a lease under IC 6-1.1-20-3.1 , as in effect before July 1, 2000.
    (b) IC 6-1.1-20-3.1 , IC 6-1.1-20-3.2 , and IC 6-1.1-20-9 , as in effect before July 1, 2000, apply to a proposal to issue bonds or to enter into a lease if, before July 1, 2000, the political subdivision holds a public hearing on a preliminary determination to issue bonds or enter into a lease under IC 6-1.1-20-3.1 , as in effect before July 1, 2000.

     (c) This SECTION expires January 1, 2001.
SOURCE: ; (00)IN1235.1.5. -->     SECTION 5. An emergency is declared for this act.