Authors: Representative Sharon Negele
Co-authors: Representative Kevin Mahan, Representative Randy Truitt
Provides the following for annexations for which an annexation ordinance is adopted after June 30, 2015: (1) Provides that the annexation fiscal plan is similar to plans required for local government mergers and reorganizations. (2) Prohibits the fiscal plan from being amended after a remonstrance petition is filed, unless the amendment is consented to by remonstrators.(3) Requires a municipality to conduct an outreach program to inform citizens about a proposed annexation. (4) Allows remonstrators who prevail at a remonstrance hearing to recover expenses incurred in filing the remonstrance, including appeal costs and reasonable attorney's fees, in an amount not to exceed $40,000. (5) Provides the circumstances under which a public highway or rights of way of a public highway that is annexed may be considered contiguous and may be used for further annexations. (6) Allows a municipality to exempt property from property tax liability for municipal purposes if the property is used for agricultural purposes (instead of classified as agricultural for zoning purposes). (7) Allows a municipality to annex noncontiguous territory occupied by a commercial or industrial economic development project. (8) Provides that a petition for remonstrance or to request annexation may be signed by at least 51% of the owners of land in the territory or 60% of the total assessed value of the land for property tax purposes. (9) Requires a municipality to give notice of an annexation hearing to a landowner whose agricultural property is exempted from property taxes for municipal purposes. Removes an annexation procedure applicable only to a municipality in St. Joseph County. Provides common names for the different annexation procedures. Provides that a county has the responsibility and authority to provide police protection, fire protection, water, sewer, and street and road maintenance to the unincorporated area of the county unless the county and municipality enter into an interlocal agreement that authorizes the municipality to provide services. Provides that police and fire services that are provided under written mutual aid agreements executed before July 1, 2015, or a written agreement for services provided by a municipality to an unincorporated area are unaffected after June 30, 2015, if the municipality initially provided the services before July 1, 2015 and the municipality files the written agreement with the county executive before January 1, 2016. Provides that a municipality under the advisory planning law may still exercise planning and zoning in the two mile area outside the municipality.