[r47] Legislation regarding abandoned properties, incorporation of towns signed into law (5/8/2013)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Start Date: 5/8/2013 All Day
End Date: 5/8/2013
STATEHOUSE — Legislation advocated by State Representative John Price (R-Greenwood) regarding abandoned properties, the incorporation of towns and fund transfers were signed into law by Governor Pence.

Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 433 establishes a method to dispose of abandoned properties. It allows county executives to relinquish these properties to a person, an abutting property owner or nonprofit organization that is able to repair and maintain them following a tax sale.

“This is a constituent driven issue that we’ve been eager to resolve,” said Rep. Price. “By fixing up these abandoned properties, they can later be sold rather than stand vacant and be eyesores for the community. This bill reaps potential for economic development and growth as counties may utilize these properties to pump money back into the local economy.”  

SEA 433 also stipulates that a person with a substantial interest in the property must be given an opportunity to redeem the property prior to the transfer, protecting interested parties from government overreach.

House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1186 states that the incorporation of a town may be started by filing a written petition with the county executive of the county that contains the majority of the area of the proposed town. The petition must be signed by at least 10 percent of the owners of land in the area of the proposed town instead of the 50 individuals currently needed to drive the issue of incorporation.

“Under current law, the final say is with the county executive in establishing a town. This bill shifts that power into the hands of the people,” said Rep. Price. “Giving our neighbors the power to express their views on this is especially important for the growth of our towns across the state.”

If the county executive finds that the petition satisfies the legal requirements, the county executive will either adopt an ordinance incorporating the town or adopt a resolution to place a public question concerning incorporation on the ballot. 
If the majority of voters vote “no” on the public referendum regarding the incorporation, another petition for incorporation of the same area cannot be filed until two years after said election.

HEA 1224 provides that Indiana’s UCC provisions governing fund transfers apply to remittance transfers as defined in the federal Economic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), unless the remittance transfer is also an electronic fund transfer as defined by EFTA. Additionally, it provides that if EFTA and Indiana’s statue both apply to a fund transfer, the federal EFTA governs to the extent of any inconsistency.

Essentially, the bill’s intent is to conform state law to current federal law in order to ensure that the wire transfer of money is a safe transaction. Due to differences in the language of state and federal law, this has not always been the case.
“This bill serves as a provision to current law, under which discrepancies between federal and state law allowed for safety loopholes in the wire transfer of money,” said Rep. Price. “With this new legislation, the legal jargon of the bills will be aligned to ensure secure transactions.” 

SEA 433, HEA 1186 and HEA 1224 are now law. 

Price_1186433 Gov Signs1.docx