[r20] Rep. Dermody Votes Against Bill Designed to Gut Taxpayer Referenda (3/3/2009)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Start Date: 3/3/2009 All Day
End Date: 3/3/2009
STATEHOUSE - A vote in the Indiana House on Feb. 25 stripped critical taxpayer approval provisions from major public construction project laws.  House Bill 1730, supported by the House Majority, would allow any public building project in excess of $2 million to avoid the taxpayer referenda and petition-remonstrance requirements enacted in 2008 simply by constructing the project with "green technology" standards. 

"This legislation removes Hoosier taxpayer's referenda protection received in 2008 and will make the initial cost of the project higher," said Rep. Dermody. "Indiana taxpayers will feel the devastating impact and that's not what they need especially in these tough economic times."

Voter referenda for major construction projects, generally those in excess of $10 million or $20 million, were included in the landmark "Cut Now/Cap Forever" property tax legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2008. Under the bill, any project for the construction, repair, alteration or retrofitting of a public building or structure would be exempt from the referenda requirement, or for smaller projects, the voter petition process that was enacted in 1995, provided the project is built to nationally recognized energy efficiency standards.

"I work hard to prevent legislation like House Bill 1730 that increases Hoosier taxes," said Dermody. "Indiana is in a difficult economic position right now and removing taxpayer's protection is the last thing we need to do."

The bill, passed by a 52-48 party line vote, now heads to the Senate for consideration.