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This year, the Indiana General Assembly passed measures creating more efficient local government processes. In 2015, lawmakers updated the state’s annexation laws for the first time in nearly 15 years. Distrcit 48 State Senator Mark Messmer of Jasper says this year, the Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1298, which made several technical changes to the existing annexation laws dealing with adjacent land requirements among other things.

In the 2016 legislative session, lawmakers also passed Senate Enrolled Act 279, clarifying the procedure for extending a referendum tax levy. This law came in response to an increase in the number of school districts across the state using the local referendum process. In 2015 alone, 31 Indiana school districts received more than $100 million through referendum operating levies. Under previous law, when school districts wanted to continue a previously-approved referendum, there was no language to show voters that it was a continuation of an existing referendum and not a new tax levy.

Messmer says Senate Enrolled Act 279 clears up this language by requiring a school corporation and voters to approve a resolution extending the referendum by Dec. 31 of the existing referendum’s final year.

These laws simplify existing state statutes, making these processes easier for cities, counties, towns and voters. As always, feel free to contact Messmer’s office directly with your questions and concerns by email at or by phone at 800-382-9467.

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