This letter is from a rural Fortville, IN resident, embattled in annexation with Fortville for more than 2 years. This is the last time you will have an opportunity to voice your concerns on annexation, as the committees have studied this issue for months and months, and this is the best they came up with. There may NEVER be an opportunity to change the annexation laws again, and if the House amended version passes, we are back to the law that is now on the books, screwing the rural taxpayer with hostile annexation into the city.
We do not want the House version of SB330 to pass. It reverts back to current annexation laws. SB330 as written was nore favorable to rural residents, and we should urge the legislators to can the amendment, and go with the original SB330 as written.
My Dear Legislators,
I feel compelled to write once more after attending the Conference Committee Hearing on April 22 and listening to the skewed information being perpetuated by IACT. Please consider these 3 points.
(1) Their claims that municipal growth will be negatively impacted without their Economic Development Protection clause is simply unfounded. The example given by their spokesperson referenced an annexation in Mishawaka. It may have been a friendly annexation because it could not have happened during one calendar year if it had been litigated. Where are their examples of litigation where a couple of owners prevented annexation for economic development purposes? There are none, because a small number of owners cannot afford to litigate against a town! They want this loophole so they can annex at will with little or no resistance from a smaller population. It negates all the good things in this bill by putting remonstrators right back where things are now. We should not have to go to court! I am appalled they would argue that their due process rights are violated because a super-majority says no to a municipal-initiated annexation.
As far as “economic development” goes, I ask you to look at these undisputed statistics:
• Indiana ranks 5th nationally in the production of corn.
• Indiana ranks 4th in the production of soybeans.
• Indiana is the 2nd largest producer of popcorn in the nation.
• Indiana ranks 2nd in tomatoes for processing.
• Indiana ranks 4th in peppermint production and 5th in spearmint production.
• Indiana ranks 2nd in the number of layer chickens. The state is also 3rd in the nation for total number of eggs.
• Indiana produces more ducks than any other state in the nation.
• Indiana ranks 2nd in the production of both regular and fat free ice cream.
IU Kelley School of Business reported:
“Hoosiers…hopefully will also realize the great economic contribution that Indiana agriculture brings to the state. It is understandable why Indiana’s agricultural industries have been encouraged to expand in the past decade—with $37.9 billion in total economic output, leading to approximately $13 billion in value added to the state’s GDP while supporting approximately 190,000 jobs.”
The Indianapolis Star ran this headline on November 15, 2014:
Business Insider: Agriculture produces bushels of cash for Indiana economy
How can ag industries maintain or expand when municipalities continue to railroad property owners with their Annexation Express?
IACT gave you a list of 24 supporters for this so-called protection for economic development. If I had the time, I could get these – and many more- Indiana companies and businesses to counter the IACT list.
Indiana Farm Bureau
Maple Leaf Farms
Culver Duck Farms
Indiana Pork Producers Association
Indiana State Poultry Association
Dean Foods Company
Good Humor / Breyers Ice Cream
Indiana Dairy Producers
Wabash Valley Growers LLC
Indiana Corn Marketing Council
Indiana Soybean Alliance
ADM Countrymark, Inc.
Indiana Beef Cattle Association
Indiana Horse Council
Dow Agro Sciences
Harvest Land Co-op
North Central Co-op
Farm Credit Services
Premier Ag Co-op
Please, do not include this clause in the bill. Municipalities can still annex successfully without it.
(2) Besides, they still have a plethora of subdivisions with waivers that they can swoop in and take over. Which is why waivers should be eliminated. There is no need for them. Municipalities need to get in the 21st century with innovative ideas and work for the right to bring in more property to increase their tax base. This feudalistic practice has made them complacent and arrogant.
(3) If remonstrators are required to get signatures, then consider reducing the threshold to 51%. Otherwise, the municipality should get the signatures if the 65% threshold is required. That is only fair if they are the ones initiating the action. Individual property owners should not have to do the work of municipal officials they did not elect. Those folks could certainly get out of their comfortable meeting chairs and actually DO something!
Thank you for your hard work, thank you for reading to the end and I would appreciate your consideration of my concerns.
2236 W. 900 N.
Fortville, IN. 46040
You can call these legislators to express your concerns. The final day of the hearing will be Wednesday, April 29. If you wait for others to do your job, it will never happen!
Call and leave messages for all
direct numbers to the legislative assistants… sometimes they will actually answer and speak to you.
Rep. Negele Hanna Fagen- 317-232-9816
Rep. Rieken Latisha Varnesdeel 317-232-9991
Rep Thompson Seth Hinshaw 317-232-9651
Rep. Sullivan Ali Bartlett 317-232-9671
Sen Taylor 800-382-9467 ext 2-9491
Sen Broden 800-382-9467 ext 2-9523
For Senators Boots, Alting, Buck, Head, call 800-382-9467 and request to speak to the legislative assistant for each legislator…. Boots is most important one, as he is the author of the bill.
For Representatives Errington, Pryor call 800-382-9842 and request to speak to his legislative assistant.
For Representatives Aylesworth, Truitt, Mahan call 800-382-9841 and request to speak to their assistants.