Bill to Boost Local Governments Heads to House

(Image Courtesy of Indiana University) (Image Courtesy of Indiana University)
INDIANAPOLIS -

A bill that would return $550 million in local option income tax reserves to local governments has cleared the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee. Though not directed toward any specific use, House Bill 1110 author Todd Huston (R-37) says it could benefit communities looking to make road and bridge improvements.

Increased spending for infrastructure projects is the top stated priority of Republican legislators during the 2016 General Assembly. 

"We understand that local governments face unique challenges in funding much-needed services," Huston says. "House Bill 1110 would immediately infuse $440 million into local government budgets, with an estimated $110 million to follow over the next four years. This proposal provides for a disbursement free of restrictions to the counties and municipalities where the funds originated."

The reserve funds have been held in trust accounts that would be redistributed to counties. Committee Chair Tim Brown (R-41) says under the proposed measure, "local governments can use these funds for any purpose in which the community originally collected the tax. Since these revenues were raised by local units, we believe our local leaders are best equipped to decide how to invest their money."

The bill now moves on to the full House.

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