[r17] Rep. Harman pleased with outcome of 2013 legislative session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, May 1, 2013

STATEHOUSE – The 2013 legislative session has come to a finish. State Representative Tim Harman (R-Bremen) is pleased to see three of his top priority bills become law this session: House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1545, HEA 1561 and Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 319.

“I feel really good about all we accomplished for Hoosiers in my first session as part of the General Assembly,” said Rep. Harman. “Both Houses were able to work together to pass a balanced budget that protects taxpayers, and I am pleased with the legislation I was directly involved with. It accomplished a lot for firefighters, police officers, farmers and teachers.”

HEA 1545 addresses several different state and local tax credit issues. Rep. Harman authored an amendment to the bill that adds an income tax refund check off box. This will allow Hoosiers to donate all or a portion of their refund to help fund public K-12 education if they choose to. This is in addition to the check off box for donations to the Indiana Nongame Fund, which in tax year 2010, received nearly $380,000 from refunds on 25,600 returns.

HEA 1561 removes the requirement for members of the 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension and Disability Fund to reapply for membership after transferring to another job. The 1977 Fund aids full-time police officers and firefighters through benefits and retirement assistance. Under current law, members of the fund are required to reapply for membership after transferring to another city or job. HEA 1561 was signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence.

SEA 319 provided tax relief for farmers to the tune of $57 million. Taxes on farmland the last few years have increased dramatically as newly enacted controls have held other classes of property static or reduced. By fast-tracking the bill, local assessors were able to implement the new statute before spring documents were mailed out to property owners. The law also establishes an interim study committee to study agriculture property tax issues in how the land is assessed. SEA 319 was the first bill to be signed by Gov. Pence in February.

“As the 2013 session is finished, I am pleased with the progress made, but our work is certainly not finished,” said Rep. Harman. “I look forward to continuing to work hard for the people of District 17 and other Hoosiers across the state.”