Committee Examines Ways to Save Money in Local Government

A new House committee met for the first time Tuesday to discuss ways to make local and state governments more efficient.

Indiana Statehouse

Photo: Noah Coffey (Flickr)

A new House Select Committee on Government Reduction is trying to fix inefficiencies in state and local government.

The first meeting of a new House committee Tuesday produced a number of suggestions for how to save money in local and state government. The House Select Committee on Government Reduction was one of two created prior to the session to help find efficiencies as the state crafts a new biennial budget.  Chairman Chet Dobis elected to start with suggestions from agencies like the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns and the State Board of Accounts on how to save cash. 

IACT member Mike Griffin, the Highland Clerk-Treasurer, presented a list of 87 ideas for the committee, calling himself a “big nerd” about local government.  Simpler were the suggestions by Association of Indiana Counties Executive Director David Bottorff, who suggests replacing a tax deduction for owning a home with an increased standard tax deduction for all Hoosiers…

“The mortgage deduction is so paperwork-intensive and you have all these people filing mortgage reductions constantly, there’s all this paper flowing through the different county offices.  I would suggest that that is probably a deduction where the cost of administering it is too high, compared to what the actual property tax relief is,” Bottorff said.

Bottorff also advocates moving municipal elections to congressional election years — an idea for which Columbus Representative and committee member Milo Smith is drafting a bill.  Smith says he also likes an idea from State Board of Accounts Examiner Bruce Hartman which would scrap paper copies of many state filings.

“We don’t just have to save money, but freeing up time is money.  And filing reports every month where we just file them away and nobody ever looks at them…and most of that information that’s being talked about can be found online,” Smith said.

Other ideas include using GIS land surveys to help track property reassessments, rather than sending assessors to each property individually.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Politics Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook