Monday, January 12, 2009
Hinkle Bill Takes Aim At Marion County Auditor
A legislative proposal by Rep. Phil Hinkle (R-Indianapolis) transfers duties currently performed by the Marion County Auditor to the Indianapolis controller's office and the Marion County Treasurer. Under HB 1229, accounting, payroll, revenue and tax distributions, maintenance of property records for all city and county agencies and the issuance of city and county warrants would be transferred to the Indianapolis controller's office. Responsibilities of the auditor concerning property tax assessment, collection, tax sales, filing of deduction and exemption applications and other property tax-related functions would be transferred to the Marion County Treasurer. These changes would take place on January 1, 2011, and the City-County Council is directed to reduce the Auditor's pay to reflect the reduced duties and responsibilities. Because the county auditor is a constitutional office, the legislature can't eliminate the position altogether without a constitutional amendment. HJR-3, also sponsored by Hinkle, proposes a constitutional amendment which would allow a county legislative body to consolidate, eliminate or prescribe additional duties for an existing constitutional office. Hinkle's legislative proposals are in keeping with the streamlining of local government as proposed by the Kernan-Shepard Commission, which means Speaker Pat Bauer will probably bury it in committee.