2017 Indiana Legislative Wrap-Up

Executive Summary

  • The transportation industry and Indiana will benefit greatly with the passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Funding House Bill 1002. The bill adds to current funding in the amount of $617 million in fiscal year 2018 and escalates annually to $1.209 billion in 2024.
  • A local governmental unit and a land developer may agree to the partial release of a performance bond or other surety on a more frequent basis than an annual basis. (HB 1117)
  • The adoption or enforcement of an ordinance requiring a commercial motor vehicle to obtain a permit to operate within the jurisdiction of the local authority is prohibited. Language was included to direct local authorities to issue refunds of amounts paid by a commercial motor vehicle operator to obtain a permit to operate the commercial motor vehicle. (HB 1422)
  • A stinger-steered (rear hitch mount) vehicle may have a maximum length per two coupled vehicles of 80 feet replacing the current maximum of 75 feet. (HB 1422)
  • Upon approaching a stationary survey or construction vehicle, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and proceed with caution. (HB 1491)

The Details

FUNDING

HB 1002 Transportation Infrastructure Funding (SOLIDAY E)
The legislature was successful in passing a sustainable long term transportation infrastructure bill. The bill will result in additional funding of $617 million in FY 2018 growing each year to an additional $1.209 billion in FY 2024. Specific bill details are as follows:

  • Raises gas, diesel and motor carrier surcharge taxes by 10 cents each beginning in FY18 and indexes the taxes annually for seven years with a one cent per year cap.
  • Gradually shifts the sales tax on gas to the state highway fund by 2025 (but allows the Governor to hold back these funds for general fund purposes subject to review by the state budget committee).
  • Increases the International Registration Plan and BMV registration fees by 25% for trucks greater than 26,000 lbs.
  • Implements a $15 statewide transportation infrastructure fee for all vehicles less than 26,000 lbs.
  • Implements an annual electric vehicle fee of $150 and a hybrid fee of $50.
  • Eliminates the sales tax on special fuel.
  • Requires INDOT to study tolling and to apply for a federal tolling waiver; requires state budget committee review before INDOT could implement tolling.
  • Requires INDOT to develop metrics and prioritize projects using a data-driven model.
  • Moves the motor carrier surcharge tax to the pump and applies to all diesel buyers.
  • Continues the community crossing matching grant program for locals and modifies the match requirements as follows: counties over 50,000 population and cities/towns over 10,000 population will be at a 50/50 match; counties under 50,000 population and cities/towns under 10,000 population will be at a 75/25 match.
  • Allows INDOT to operate a federal funds exchange program with locals.
  • Extends local wheel tax/surtax adoption deadlines.
  • Restricts local uses of MVH funds to exclude paying for police and painting structures and requires that 50% of MVH funds be used for construction, reconstruction and maintenance.
  • Phases in changes to the MVH split from current 53% state/47% local to 60% state and 40% local beginning in FY18 and ending in FY23.
  • Allows the IFA to facilitate the completion of a P3 project in a situation where the P3 agreement has been terminated or the IFA has exercised its right to seek remedies.

SB 128 REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS (MESSMER M)
Provides that the Indiana finance authority (IFA), rather than the budget agency, administers the local infrastructure revolving loan funds (loan funds). Expands the types of entities that may participate in the loan funds. Authorizes the IFA to issue its bonds to carry out the loan funds. Expands the types of infrastructure that are eligible for the loan funds to include bridges or other public ways. Provides that a regional development authority (RDA) may apply for a “FASTLANE” grant from the Federal Highway Administration (or a grant from any other federal program) for highway funding. Authorizes an RDA to enter into a supplemental funding agreement with the Indiana department of transportation or a political subdivision to contribute local matching funds to be used to pay a part or all of the nonfederal share of the costs necessary to carry out regional transportation infrastructure projects. Allows a county or municipality participating in an RDA to transfer money to a fund from its general fund or rainy day fund (or other available fund) to the RDA for purposes of providing funds for regional transportation infrastructure projects. Provides that a city, county, or political subdivision that fails to make a payment or transfer to a development authority as required is subject to a deduction by the state treasurer and a deduction of available funds from the development authority. Creates the regional development authority infrastructure fund (infrastructure fund). Provides that a regional development authority may expend money in the fund for certain infrastructure development projects. Provides that the IFA will administer the infrastructure fund. Provides an adjusted gross income tax deduction to a taxpayer that makes a contribution or gift to the infrastructure fund. Allows a county, city, or town to provide local income tax revenue to the infrastructure fund. Upon recommendation by an RDA, authorizes a county or municipality to establish a cumulative fund for the purpose of funding regional transportation infrastructure projects.

STATE AND LOCAL PUBLIC WORKS

HB 1117 PERFORMANCE BOND REQUIREMENTS (MILLER D)
Provides that a local governmental unit and a land developer may agree to the partial release of a performance bond or other surety required of the land developer to ensure the completion of certain unfinished improvements and installations in a subdivision on a more frequent basis than an annual basis. (Under current law, a performance bond or other surety may be partially released on an annual basis, which would continue to be permitted.) Provides that a contractor is not required to submit a payment bond for a public works contract of a state educational institution if the amount to be paid under the contract is less than $500,000 and the state educational institution agrees to waive the requirement. Provides that a contractor is not required to submit a performance bond for a public works contract of a state educational institution if the amount to be paid under the contract is less than $500,000 and the state educational institution agrees to waive the requirement. Makes a technical change to make language in the statute uniform.

SB 472 REQUESTS TO LOCATE UNDERGROUND UTILITY FACILITIES (CRIDER M)
Amends the statute concerning the locating and marking of underground utility facilities (Indiana’s 811 law) to allow a person responsible for: (1) a construction project; or (2) any other project or operation; that will involve an excavation or demolition operation to provide a voluntary design information notice to the association known as the Indiana Underground Plant Protection Service (association) before commencing preliminary engineering studies or construction planning activities in the project area that will be affected by the excavation or demolition. Provides that a design information notice must be received by the association at least 10 full working days but not more than 20 calendar days before the commencement of the preliminary engineering studies or construction planning activities. Specifies the information that must be included in a design information notice. Provides that not more than two design information notices for the same project and from the same person or source may be submitted in any given 180 day period. Requires the association, upon receiving a design information notice, to: (1) notify each utility operator that has underground facilities located in the affected project area; and (2) provide the person serving the design information notice a list of the identified operators. Requires an operator, upon receiving notice of a submitted design information notice, to contact the person serving the design information notice within 10 days and do one or more of the following: (1) Provide a description of, and location information for, the operator’s underground facilities in the affected project area. (2) Allow the person serving the design information notice to inspect, at a location acceptable to the operator, drawings or other records for the operator’s underground facilities in the affected project area. (3) Designate with temporary facility markers the location of the operator’s underground facilities within the affected project area. Allows an operator to reject a design information notice: (1) based on security considerations; or (2) if producing the required description of, or location information for, the operator’s affected underground facilities would place the operator at a competitive disadvantage; pending the operator’s verification of the legitimacy of the design information notice. Provides that the submission of a design information notice does not relieve a person responsible for the excavation or demolition operation involved in the project from providing the notice required under the law before commencing the excavation or demolition operation. Removes a provision in the statute that requires a county recorder who receives an inquiry from a person seeking to provide the required notice of an excavation or demolition to refer the person to the association.

HB 1422 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PROPERTY MATTERS (PRESSEL J)
Provides that the commissioner of the department may transfer certain real property owned by the department to a nonprofit land management organization without a prior appraisal if: (1) the real property is owned by the department in fee simple; and (2) the real property is nonmarketable due to environmental mitigation requirements imposed by federal or state regulations. Requires the department to establish rules for approving installation of traffic control signals. Defines certain terms. Prohibits the adoption or enforcement of an ordinance requiring a commercial motor vehicle to obtain a permit to operate within the jurisdiction of the local authority. Adds noncode to provide a refund of amounts paid by a commercial motor vehicle operator to obtain a permit to operate the commercial motor vehicle within the jurisdiction of the local authority.

LEGAL

HB 1491 VARIOUS MOTOR VEHICLE LAW AMENDMENTS. (SOLIDAY E)
Renames the county motor vehicle excise surtax to be the county vehicle excise tax. Renames the municipal motor vehicle license excise surtax to be the municipal vehicle excise tax. Renames the motor vehicle license excise tax to be the vehicle excise tax. Makes other revisions in the following statutes: (1) The vehicle excise tax. (2) The excise tax on recreational vehicles and truck campers. (3) The commercial vehicle excise tax. (4) The boat excise tax. Makes clarifying amendments in Title 9. Provides that an autocycle manufactured before July 1, 2015, is not required to be equipped with antilock brakes. Provides that an ordinance adopted by a county, city, or town authorizing the operation of a golf cart or an off-road vehicle on the highways of the county, city, or town must require an individual who operates the golf cart or off-road vehicle: (1) to hold a driver’s license (current law); or (2) be at least 16 years and 180 days of age and hold an identification card issued by the bureau of motor vehicles, including a photo exempt identification card. Provides that the definition of “farm wagon” exempts off-road vehicles from title and registration procedures when the farm wagon is used on private farm property. Provides that upon approaching a stationary survey or construction vehicle, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and proceed with caution. Removes the sunset clause for distributions of fee revenue to the integrated public safety communications fund. Amends the Abraham Lincoln license plate statute. Exempts the Lewis and Clark expedition license plate from the specialty group license plate requirements. Provides that a court may not award attorney’s fees in a class action suit against a governmental entity until a hearing is held. Emphasizes that a permanent registration must be renewed on an annual basis to pay all applicable excise tax. Urges the legislative council to assign to the interim study committee on roads and transportation for study during the 2017 interim the topic of the motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program in Lake and Porter counties and whether there are alternatives to the program that would satisfy regulatory requirements and have a comparable effect on air quality. Makes conforming amendments.

HB 1447 TRANSPORTATION OF AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES (FRIEND W)
Provides that an owner of a “carrier, shipper, or other party” may not cause or knowingly permit a vehicle to: (1) exceed certain size or weight restrictions; and (2) be operated upon a highway. Specifies that certain infractions concerning vehicle size and weight are Class C infractions. Prohibits the bureau of motor vehicles from assessing points under the point system for violations of commercial size and weight limitations after December 31, 2015. Provides that points assessed for such violations after December 31, 2015 are null and void.

COMMERCIAL

SB 353 REAL PROPERTY IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTS (HEAD R)
Amends the statute concerning home improvement contracts to do the following: (1) Redesignate a “home improvement contract” a “real property improvement contract” and make conforming changes in terminology throughout the statute. (2) Specify that for purposes of the statute, improvements include interior improvements made to real property, including improvements made to a basement. (3) Expand a consumer’s right to cancel a contract to include canceling a contract before midnight on the third business day after the later of the following: (A) The date the contract is signed by the consumer and the real property improvement supplier. (B) If applicable, the date the consumer receives written notice from the consumer’s insurance company of a final determination as to whether the consumer’s claim or the contract is a covered loss under an insurance policy. (Current law allows an insured consumer to cancel a contract only before midnight on the third business day after the insured consumer has received written notice from the consumer’s insurance company that any part of the claim or contract is not a covered loss under the insurance policy.) (4) Require that a real property improvement contract include an electronic mail address for the real property improvement supplier and each owner, officer, employee, or agent to whom consumer problems and inquiries can be directed. (5) Allow a consumer to submit a notice of contract cancellation by electronic mail. (6) Prohibit a third party subcontractor or vendor from initiating or pursuing a claim with an insured consumer’s insurance company. (7) Provide that a real property improvement contract: (A) may not assign any rights of the consumer to any supplier or third party; and (B) must reflect the full amount of the contract price, less any discounts offered. (8) Make it a Class A misdemeanor for a real property improvement supplier or a third party to recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally impersonate a consumer.

FAILED LEGISLATION OF INTEREST

HB 1226 PIPING MATERIALS FOR PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS (VANNATTER H)
Provides, for purposes of the law on public works projects of state agencies and political subdivisions, including design-build public works projects, that: (1) the specifications or design criteria package must specify that all piping materials that meet the recognized standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials or the American Water Works Association may be acquired for and used in the projects; and (2) in the acquisition of piping materials for a project, the characteristics of the piping materials as to quality, sustainability, durability, and corrosion resistance of the piping materials shall be considered, where applicable.

HB 1261 AUTOMATED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT (SOLIDAY E)
Authorizes a county, city, or town to adopt and enforce an ordinance (ordinance) that regulates the placement and use of automated traffic enforcement safety devices (devices) to detect certain traffic offenses (offenses). Authorizes the department of transportation and the Indiana finance authority to use devices and to adopt rules concerning devices to enforce the collection of judgments for violations of highway work zone speed limits. Provides for civil penalties for offenses and violations. Specifies that the civil penalty must be applied first to defray the cost of the installation, operation, and maintenance of the devices, and specifies the manner in which the remaining funds are distributed. Prohibits the: (1) reporting of offenses and violations on a driving record; (2) use of offenses and violations to determine rates for motor vehicle insurance; and (3) assessment of points under the point system by the bureau of motor vehicles (bureau) for offenses and violations. Requires notification to the bureau if offenses and violations have not been paid timely. Requires the bureau to suspend the registration of a vehicle and deny the transfer of the title of the vehicle when the offenses and violations have not been paid.

HB 1266 PERFORMANCE AND PAYMENT BONDS (GUTWEIN D)
Requires that public-private agreements must contain performance bond and payment bond requirements.

HB 1351 MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT VEHICLE RENTAL EXCISE TAX (HUSTON T)
Excludes certain motorized equipment vehicles from the assessment of the personal property tax. Imposes an excise tax on the rental of those motorized equipment vehicles (excise tax). Provides procedures for the sourcing, collection, and distribution of the excise tax. Provides that the excise tax is apportioned and distributed to local governmental units in the same manner that property taxes are apportioned and distributed.

SB 308 ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY EQUIPMENT OFFERED FOR RENT (HERSHMAN B)
Provides that motorized heavy equipment vehicles that are leased, or held for lease, by the owner and are otherwise subject to the personal property tax shall be assessed for property tax purposes at the place of the owner’s business location at which the motorized heavy equipment vehicle was leased, or is held for lease, as recorded on the owner’s books and records on the assessment date. Provides that the owner is not required to file a personal property tax return for a motorized heavy equipment vehicle in a township or county other than the township or county of the owner’s business location in which the motorized heavy equipment vehicle is assessed and subject to taxation under the amended law, regardless of the place where the motorized heavy equipment vehicle may be situated as of the assessment date. (Under current law, an owner must file a personal property tax return in the township or county in which the motorized heavy equipment vehicle is situated for regular use on the assessment date.)

BIC MATTERS – House Passes Long-term Road Funding Bill

TO: BIC Grassroots Network
FROM: Vicki Kitchin
DATE: February 16, 2017

BIC MATTERS: House Passes Long Term Road Funding Bill

House Passes HB 1002
Today, with a vote of 61-36, the Indiana House of Representatives passed HB 1002 which provides long-term, dedicated and stable funding for state and local roads and bridges. Roads and Transportation Chairman Ed Soliday explained the bill’s provisions, which include the following:

  • increases the gasoline tax, special fuels tax and motor carrier surcharge tax each by 10 cents to restore lost buying power since the taxes were last raised,
  • indexes all fuel tax rates annually using a formula that incorporates CPI-U and Indiana personal income growth (the indexing sunsets in 2024),
  • transfers the remaining 4.5 pennies of the sales tax on gasoline from the General Fund to the State Highway Fund,
  • implements a $15 annual statewide infrastructure improvement fee on all vehicles registered in Indiana,
  • implements a $150 annual statewide infrastructure improvement fee on all electric vehicles registered in Indiana and increases the current alternative fuel vehicle fee to $150,
  • requires INDOT to further study tolling and submit a waiver to the federal government to allow tolling on existing interstates (the first toll road implemented cannot be within 75 miles of an existing toll facility)
  • lowers the minimum population threshold applicable to the municipal wheel tax/surtax from 10,000 to 5,000.

HB 1002 would generate new road funding immediately with the amount gradually increasing each year. Click here for the latest fiscal analysis.

In a rare move, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma spoke on the floor in support of the bill. He emphasized that HB 1002 is the result of six years of study, relies on user fees and does not increase state debt. He thanked Chairman Soliday and Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown for their work on the bill.

After about one hour of debate, the House voted 61-36 to pass the bill. Seven House Republicans and all Democrats voted against the bill. You can see the vote sheet here.

BIC sincerely appreciates the House Republican leadership and all caucus members who voted in favor of HB 1002. We ask all members to contact your legislator with a “Thank You,” if he/she voted “Yes” on the bill today.

Next Steps
HB 1002 now goes to the Senate where its sponsors are Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) and Senator Michael Crider (R-Greenfield). We do not expect a Senate committee to hear the bill until sometime in March. Now is the time to reach out to your Senator and encourage their support of HB 1002.

Town Halls
Thanks to all of you who have been contacting legislators and attending town hall meetings. We ask that you continue to attend these meetings, express your support for House members who voted yes today and encourage your Senators to support it. This week’s list┬áincludes meetings in Bedford, Valparaiso, Orleans, Greencastle, Fort Wayne, Goshen, Spencer, Frankfort, Decatur, Berne, Veedersburg, Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Princeton.

Send BIC a note with feedback from these meetings. Remember, we have a long way to go in this process.