State Senator Jim Arnold is backing a number of bills that are now advancing through the Senate, including legislation regarding property tax deductions and safer railroad crossings.
House Bill 1261 would allow homeowners in LaPorte County to receive deductions in delayed property taxes for a current assessment date, authorizing the Department of Local Government Finance to delay payments for the March 1, 2011 or Jan. 15, 2013 assessment dates. A number of property tax policies would also apply to delayed property taxes, including payment via credit or debit card, sales tax exemptions for one year, and a two-percent discount for payments made within 30 days.
Meanwhile, House Bill 1037 looks to develop regulations for placing safe sightline railroad crossings. While current law requires that sightline crossings be placed at 1500 feet, where locomotives are also required to sound their horn, this bill would require INDOT to improve their method for measuring and determining the minimum distance that railroad crossings require. Once these new rules are in place, railroads that fail to comply could face a fine of $100 per day until the violations cease. Continued violations could result in harsher penalties.
Another bill currently in the works would provide the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites with exemptions from public works contracts, policies, and practices, allowing the State Board of Accounts to review and change the museum’s terms of agreement every year, including those for the Indiana State Museum Foundation. The bill would also authorize the museum’s board to improve, relocate or convey historic property, on top of allowing the board to solicit and accept private funding from nonprofit corporations.