StateNewsIndiana House Bill 1271 titled Department of Local Government Finance passed the Indiana House of Representatives Tuesday evening by a vote of 86 to 11.  It now moves over to the Senate for consideration.

This bill was originally authored by Representative Daniel Leonard and is where the bill authored by Representative Jack Jordan for the Marshall County Jail was attached to.

The bill provides that money accumulated from the Marshall County quarter of a percent additional tax rate known as the Special Local Income Tax (LIT) for criminal justice facilities is terminated, shall be transferred to the county jail fund.

When the state initially approved the legislation for the construction of the Marshall County Jail the excess funds, once the bond was paid and the tax sunset, would transfer to the Marshall County Highway Department.

Late last year members of the County Council and two of the three county commissioners, Commissioner Stan Klotz was opposed to the resolution, approved a resolution moving those excess funds from the highway department to the jail fund.

The county has had to use Special LIT funds for daily jail operations for several years.  This year they are using approximately $1.8 million to operate the jail.  Both the commissioners and council believed the excess funds should remain with the jail.

The two newest members of the county council, Tim Harman and Jesse Bohannon are not in favor of the change and tried to get the council to stop the bill down state or at least amend it to allow the excess funds to be placed in the County’s Rainy Day Fund for flexibility of use.  Four of the council members voted no to stop or amend the bill.  The fifth council member, Heath Thornton was absent from the meeting.

The senate will now consider the bill.  If approved it will go to the governor’s desk for signing it into law.