STATEHOUSE (Feb. 19, 2019) – The House of Representatives Monday supported State Rep. Cindy Ziemke’s (R-Batesville) legislation holding township governments accountable for large tax dollar reserves.
Currently, townships provide funding for improvements and updates to parks, community centers, shelters and fire protection equipment. However, Ziemke said the funding for these projects does not always get used and is kept in a reserve account. Some townships could use their significantly large reserves to fund operations for more than a year, and not need to raise taxes or collect additional revenue.
“Hoosier taxpayers deserve to know where their money is and how it is being used,” Ziemke said. “Many townships are sitting on large sums of money with no plan to use it. This legislation would spur townships to implement their ideas and provide the public a clear breakdown of their township’s finances and plans for future projects.”
According to Ziemke, if a township’s capital improvement fund exceeds their annual budget by 150 percent or more, then they would be required to adopt a capital improvement plan for the next three years. Ziemke said this plan would lay out objectives to improve the community, and must be submitted to the Department of Local Government Finance.
Ziemke said the legislation would call for an interim study committee to review the ability of volunteer fire departments to safely and effectively perform their duties for their townships.
“A thorough review will give us important information on what changes need to be made to ensure our communities are protected by our volunteer fire stations, and that they are provided with the necessary equipment to perform their jobs,” Ziemke said.
State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents House District 55, which includes
all of Fayette County and portions of Decatur, Franklin, Ripley and Rush counties.
PHOTO CAPTION: State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) presents legislation that would require township governments to adopt a capital improvement plan if they have a large surplus on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. This legislation would hold township governments accountable for large tax dollar reserves. The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.