2/15/2012 2:08:00 PM Cheatham pushes several bills forward
State Rep. David Cheatham (D-North Vernon) escorted several pieces of legislation through passage recently during an Indiana House of Representatives session at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.
House Bill 1195 (HB 1195) will allow an individual to contest an assessment of their property, without having to hire an appraiser. In addition, HB 1195 will provide more taxpayers with the opportunity to fight what they may see as an unjust or biased value of their property. Taxpayers will be able to protest their current property assessment if it was not completed in accordance with the Department of Local Government Finance's (DLGF) regulations.
"During times of economic hardship, it is important that taxpayers are given a fair assessment of their property," Cheatham said. "I know that within my own district, there are many residents who have put a lot of hard work and investment in their property. Protecting that value means everything to them."
House Bill 1279 (HB 1279) addresses several issues concerning matters of natural resources.
For example, HB 1279 will move the State Land Office from the Indiana Department of Administration to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The bill requires hunters to have a license to shoot on a preserve and lifts the requirement for nonresidents to obtain a special license to shoot on preserves.
In addition, House Bill 1225 (HB 1225) was moved through passage. HB 1225 establishes an order of conduct in the event that a property owner's sewage system or septic tank does not meet the criteria of a safe system.
If a property owner's sewage disposal system is failing, a sewer utility can require them to disconnect the current disposal system and connect to the district's sewer system if the repairs are not completed within 180 days. However, if a false report is made to a health officer stating that someone's septic system is a health hazard, it is considered to be a Class B misdemeanor.
"The bill gives citizens the freedom to use their individual discretion regarding whether they would like to be connected to a regional sewer district," Cheatham said.
"As long as their current septic systems are in working order, there is no reason that home owners should have to pay for a service that they do not need. This freedom will not only save property owners money, but also ensure that sanitation boards are held to democratic principles of public service," the lawmaker added.
HBs 1195, 1279, and 1225 are now in the Indiana Senate for further consideration by legislators in that body.