Legislation sponsored by Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) was signed into law by the governor over the weekend to allow the Indiana State Fair Commission to accept private funding.
Senate Bill 478 would authorize the State Fair Commission to establish a nonprofit subsidiary corporation to solicit and accept private funding. Currently, the state fair is not able to accept tax deductive contributions from individuals or corporations.
"The State Fair Commission came to me to ask for help because they have been losing revenue over the past several years and they were in need to develop alternative revenue streams," said Rep. Cherry.
"Allowing the commission to accept tax-deductible contributions from private or corporate donors will allow them to aggressively raise capital for infrastructure improvements, develop new, year-round programs and showcase accomplishments of young farmers."
The corporation must use money received to carry out the purposes and programs of the state fair. In addition, the corporation must report to the State Budget Committee every year concerning the use of money and the balances in any accounts or funds established by the corporation.
Members of the Indiana State Fair and Indiana Farm Bureau, a large sponsor of the fair, were present during all committee hearings in support of the legislation. The legislation also received unanimous support in the House and Senate.