A House committee cautiously began debate Tuesday on what the committee chair calls “a touchy subject” – township government reform.
The legislation would force townships with less than 1,200 people to merge with an adjacent township by 2023. That mandate would eliminate about 1,200 elected officials.
Indiana Township Association President Debbie Driscoll says her organization supports such reform.
“It’s an attempt to save us long-term by bettering our services and our finances and our accountability,” Driscoll says.
But the Indiana Farm Bureau opposes the move. Bureau lobbyist Katrina Hall says eliminating a layer of government robs rural Hoosiers of their voice.
“Forcing mergers of the smallest townships with the most populated will surely raise the taxes of those in the rural areas,” Hall says.
The committee expects to vote on the bill next week.