Township Consolidation On-Deck For Statehouse Debate
The Indiana Chamber's vice president of taxation and public finance says the chances of a township consolidation bill receiving approval in the General Assembly are "pretty good." House Bill 1005, which is scheduled to go before the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee Tuesday, calls for the consolidation of any township with a population of less than 1,200. Bill Waltz says over one-third of the more than 1,000 townships in the state would be affected. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, he says the bill would make township government more effective and efficient. "The real benefit comes from kind of streamlining their processes," Waltz said, which means "serving their people a little better."
The bill is among the legislative priorities of the Indiana Chamber and the House Republicans -- which hold a super-majority -- and has been supported by the Indiana Township Association.
Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau compiled by Indiana's public data utility, Stats Indiana, show Wabash Township in Gibson County is the smallest township with an estimated 2015 population of 30. The largest is North Township in Lake County, which has 157,105. If HB 1005 receives approval in its current form, all but one township in Warren and Ohio counties would have to consolidate. Ohio County, the smallest in the state, would be trimmed from four townships to two. All but two Benton and Pulaski County townships would fall below the cut line according to the U.S. Census Bureau numbers.
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