Speaker Links Regional Cities Expansion to Long-Term Road Funding

statehouse-picSB 302 passed the Indiana Senate 35-15 on February 1, but House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) stated this week that the measure won’t clear the House Ways and Means Committee “without extra help.”

The bill does the following:

  • Specifies the manner in which certain excise taxes and local taxes collected under the tax amnesty program shall be distributed
  • Provides that after making the distributions required under the tax amnesty program, the next $42 million collected under the program must be deposited into the Indiana Regional Cities development fund
  • Provides that any remaining amounts collected under the tax amnesty program shall be deposited in the state bicentennial capital account (rather than the state general fund, under current law)
  • Specifies that revenue received from the rental of certain communications system infrastructure shall be deposited in the state general fund (rather than the state bicentennial capital account, under current law)
  • Appropriates $42 million from the Indiana Regional Cities development fund for the purpose of funding a third grant under the regional cities initiative

The Indiana Chamber endorses regionalism and place-making strategies that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s Regional Cities program embodies and that this legislation seeks to supplement. Separately, we appreciate Speaker Bosma’s efforts to use this bill as leverage to assist his plan for long-term road funding (HB 1001); that’s the transportation bill that the Chamber fully endorses.

This week, Bosma essentially said give and take will need to occur to get House legislators over the hump after they feel they held up their end of the bargain by passing the Regional Cities statute for two locations last session, only to now have the Governor expand the parameters to request dollars for a third location.

Ultimately, the Chamber would like to see both the Regional Cities expansion and HB 1001 – in its full form – become law this session and will be intently working toward that goal.