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Local Government Reform Report Draws Sharp Criticism

The Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform released a report calling for the consolidation of many county, city and township offices.

The Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform has released its report. The blue ribbon-commission, appointed by Governor Daniels last summer during the height of public demonstrations over property taxes, makes 27 recommendations, calling for the consolidation of many county, city and township offices.

Co-chairs Joe Kernan and Randall Shepard say the measures are aimed at ensuring equal quality of services from local government but with significantly less employees. Monroe County Assessor Judy Sharp says the balance of cutting employees while maintaining the same level of services will be difficult to achieve. She says the committee’s recommendations might be unfair to township assessors.

Sharp says she anticipates backlash over property taxes will compel the General Assembly to turn some of the report’s recommendations into law. Monroe County Council member Michael Woods says Governor Daniels commissioned the report simply to appease property tax protesters. He says even though he disagrees with Daniels in this regard, the report will be beneficial to the state.

The report, titled “Streamlining Local Government: We’ve got to stop governing like this” is available in its entirety at indianalocalgovreform.iu.edu.

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