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Watchdog Indiana LogoWatchdog Indiana provides information about the revenues, spending, and long-term debt assumption of Indiana local and state governments. An online community is established where Hoosiers come together voluntarily to help encourage our state and local governments better respond to the needs of working families. 

Watchdog Indiana is a non-profit, non-connected, and non-party advocate for good government that focuses on the state and local tax burden of Hoosier working families.
Watchdog Indiana was founded by Aaron Smith on November 14, 2001.

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Immediate action needed!
05/06/2017:
There is one pertinent Taxpayer Friendly question for every 2018 General Assembly candidate – Do you support or oppose the transportation infrastructure funding provisions included in Indiana House Bill 1002? There is one pertinent Taxpayer Friendly question for each 2020 Governor candidate – Do you support more toll roads in Indiana?

The 2017 Indiana General Assembly addressed the topic of transportation infrastructure funding with HB 1002: see http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/house/1002. HB 1002 is overall Taxpayer UNfriendly because too much money is unnecessarily taken from vulnerable low-income and fixed-income Hoosiers.

Voters can occasionally use a single General Assembly bill to identify Taxpayer Friends who are fiscally responsible pragmatists – and to identify Taxpayer Foes who unnecessarily shove the fist of government deep into the pockets of taxpayers. HB 1002 is one such bill that can be used to identify Taxpayer Friends and Taxpayer Foes. 

HB 1002 votes combined with the 2016 Build Indiana Political Action Committee (BIPAC) campaign contributions can also be used to identify egregious Taxpayer Foes who are ethically challenged. BIPAC is the Build Indiana Council’s “collective method of supporting the campaigns of candidates who support our industry.” The Build Indiana Council consists of contractors and consultants who will directly profit from more public spending on the highways and bridges throughout our state. Ethical elected officials refrain from accepting campaign contributions from vested interests who will directly profit from decisions made by the elected officials.

The identified EGREGIOUS TAXPAYER FOES, OTHER TAXPAYER FOES, and TAXPAYER FRIENDS are listed next.

EGREGIOUS TAXPAYER FOES – The following 81 Indiana General Assembly members (and the Governor) voted YES for the Taxpayer UNfriendly HB 1002 and unethically accepted campaign contributions from the Build Indiana Political Action Committee (BIPAC):
Taxpayer Foe #1 ($20,512.82 from BIPAC) – State Representative Brian Bosma (R, Indianapolis)
Taxpayer Foe #2 ($15,000 from BIPAC) – Governor Eric Holcomb (R)
Taxpayer Foe #3 ($14,618.94 from BIPAC) – State Representative Ed Soliday (R, Valparaiso)
Taxpayer Foe #4 ($12,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Tim Brown (R, Crawfordsville)
Taxpayer Foe #5 ($11,500 from BIPAC) – State Senator David Long (R, Fort Wayne)
Taxpayer Foe #6 ($7,500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Brandt Hershman (R, Buck Creek)
Taxpayer Foe #7 ($7,500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Luke Kenley (R, Noblesville)
Taxpayer Foe #8 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Jim Baird (R, Greencastle)
Taxpayer Foe #9 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Mike Braun (R, Jasper)
Taxpayer Foe #10 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Bob Cherry (R, Greenfield)
Taxpayer Foe # 11($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Bill Friend (R, Macy)
Taxpayer Foe #12 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Randy Frye (R, Greensburg)
Taxpayer Foe #13 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Todd Huston (R, Fishers)
Taxpayer Foe #14 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Mike Karickhoff (R, Kokomo)
Taxpayer Foe #15 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Matt Lehman (R, Berne)
Taxpayer Foe #16 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Dan Leonard (R, Huntington)
Taxpayer Foe #17 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Peggy Mayfield (R, Martinsville)
Taxpayer Foe #18 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Sharon Negele (R, Attica)
Taxpayer Foe #19 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative David Ober (R, Albion)
Taxpayer Foe #20 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Kathy Kreag Richardson (R, Noblesville)
Taxpayer Foe #21 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Tom Saunders (R, Lewisville)
Taxpayer Foe #22 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Hal Slager (R, Schererville)
Taxpayer Foe #23 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Ben Smaltz (R, Auburn)
Taxpayer Foe #24 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Mike Speedy (R, Indianapolis)
Taxpayer Foe #25 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Greg Steuerwald (R, Avon)
Taxpayer Foe #26 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Holli Sullivan (R, Evansville)
Taxpayer Foe #27 ($2,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Jeff Thompson (R, Lizton)
Taxpayer Foe #28 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Lloyd Arnold (R, Leavenworth)
Taxpayer Foe #29 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Michael Aylesworth (R, Hebron)
Taxpayer Foe #30 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Ron Bacon (R, Chandler)
Taxpayer Foe #31 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Robert Behning (R, Indianapolis)
Taxpayer Foe #32 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Greg Beumer (R, Modoc)
Taxpayer Foe #33 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Woody Burton (R, Greenwood)
Taxpayer Foe #34 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Martin Carbaugh (R, Fort Wayne)
Taxpayer Foe #35 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Tony Cook (R, Cicero)
Taxpayer Foe #36 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Dale DeVon (R, Granger)
Taxpayer Foe #37 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Sean Eberhart (R, Shelbyville)
Taxpayer Foe #38 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Jeff Ellington (R, Bloomington)
Taxpayer Foe #39 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Dave Frizzell (R, Indianapolis)
Taxpayer Foe #40 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Douglas Gutwein (R, Francesville)
Taxpayer Foe #41 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Bob Heaton (R, Terre Haute)
Taxpayer Foe #42 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Cindy Kirchhofer (R, Beech Grove)
Taxpayer Foe #43 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Senator Eric Koch (R, Bedford)
Taxpayer Foe #44 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Don Lehe (R, Brookston)
Taxpayer Foe #45 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Jim Lucas (R, Seymour)
Taxpayer Foe #46 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Randy Lyness (R, West Harrison)
Taxpayer Foe #47 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Kevin Mahan (R, Hartford City)
Taxpayer Foe #48 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Wendy McNamara (R, Evansville)
Taxpayer Foe #49 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Doug Miller (R, Elkhart)
Taxpayer Foe #50 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Alan Morrison (R, Terre Haute)
Taxpayer Foe #51 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Julie Olthoff (R, Crown Point)
Taxpayer Foe #52 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Donna Schaibley (R, Carmel)
Taxpayer Foe #53 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Milo Smith (R, Columbus)
Taxpayer Foe #54 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Jerry Torr (R, Carmel)
Taxpayer Foe #55 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Thomas Washburne (R, Evansville)
Taxpayer Foe #56 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Denny Zent (R, Angola)
Taxpayer Foe #57 ($1,000 from BIPAC) – State Representative Cindy Ziemke (R, Batesville)
Taxpayer Foe #58 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Ron Alting (R, Lafayette)
Taxpayer Foe #59 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Eric Bassler (R, Washington)
Taxpayer Foe #60 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Vaneta Becker (R, Evansville)
Taxpayer Foe #61 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Rodric Bray (R, Martinsville)
Taxpayer Foe #62 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Liz Brown (R, Fort Wayne)
Taxpayer Foe #63 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Jim Buck (R, Kokomo)
Taxpayer Foe #64 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Ed Charbonneau (R, Valparaiso)
Taxpayer Foe #65 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Michael Crider (R, Greenfield)
Taxpayer Foe #66 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Doug Eckerty (R, Yorktown)
Taxpayer Foe #67 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Jon Ford (R, Terre Haute)
Taxpayer Foe #68 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Susan Glick (R, LaGrange)
Taxpayer Foe #69 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Ron Grooms (R, Jeffersonville)
Taxpayer Foe #70 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Representative Dick Hamm (R, Richmond)
Taxpayer Foe #71 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Randy Head (R, Logansport)
Taxpayer Foe #72 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Travis Holdman (R, Fort Wayne)
Taxpayer Foe #73 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Dennis Kruse (R, Auburn)
Taxpayer Foe #74 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Jim Merritt (R, Indianapolis)
Taxpayer Foe #75 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Mark Messmer (R, Jasper)
Taxpayer Foe #76 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Ryan Mishler (R, Bremen)
Taxpayer Foe #77 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Rick Niemeyer (R, Lowell)
Taxpayer Foe #78 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Chip Perfect (R, Lawrenceburg)
Taxpayer Foe #79 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Jeff Raatz (R, Centerville)
Taxpayer Foe #80 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator John Ruckelshaus (R, Indianapolis)
Taxpayer Foe #81 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Greg Walker (R, Columbus)
Taxpayer Foe #82 ($500 from BIPAC) – State Senator Joe Zakas (R, Granger)

OTHER TAXPAYER FOES – The following 25 Indiana General Assembly members voted YES for the Taxpayer UNfriendly HB 1002 without unethically accepting campaign contributions from the Build Indiana Political Action Committee (BIPAC):
State Representative John Bartlett (D, Indianapolis)
State Senator Mike Bohacek (R, Michigan Shores)
State Representative Charlie Brown (D, Gary)
State Representative Wes Culver (R, Goshen)
State Representative Ed DeLaney (D, Indianapolis)
State Senator Blake Doriot (R, New Paris)
State Representative Karen Engleman (R, Georgetown)
State Representative Sue Errington (D, Muncie)
State Representative Dave Heine (R, New Haven)
State Representative Clyde Kersey (D, Terre Haute)
State Representative Sheila Klinker (D, Lafayette)
State Representative Linda Lawson (D, Hammond)
State Representative Karlee Macer (D, Indianapolis)
State Representative Chris May (R, Bedford)
State Senator Eddie Melton (D, Merrillville)
State Representative Chuck Moseley (D, Portage)
State Senator Frank Mrvan (D, Hammond)
State Senator David Niezgodski (D, South Bend)
State Representative Jim Pressel (R, Rolling Prairie)
State Senator Jack E. Sandlin (R, Indianapolis)
State Representative Sally Siegrist (R, West Lafayette)
State Senator Karen Tallian (D, Portage)
State Senator Jim Tomes (R, Wadesville)
State Representative John Young (R, Franklin)
State Senator Andy Zay (R, Huntington)

TAXPAYER FRIENDS – The following 41 Indiana General Assembly members voted NO against the Taxpayer UNfriendly HB 1002:
State Representative Terri Austin (D, Anderson)
State Representative B. Patrick Bauer (D, South Bend)
State Representative Bruce Borders (R, Jasonville)
State Senator Jean D. Breaux (D, Indianapolis)
State Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon (D, Munster)
State Representative Ed Clere (R, New Albany)
State Senator John B. Crane (R, Avon)
State Senator Mike Delph (R, Westfield)
State Representative Ryan Dvorak (D, South Bend)
State Representative Dan Forestal (D, Indianapolis)
State Senator Aaron Freeman (R, Indianapolis)
State Representative Phil GiaQuinta (D, Fort Wayne)
State Representative Terry Goodin (D, Austin)
State Representative Carey Hamilton (D, Indianapolis)
State Representative Earl Harris, Jr. (D, East Chicago)
State Representative Ryan Hatfield (D, Evansville)
State Senator Erin Houchin (R. Salem) ($500 from BIPAC)
State Representative Jack Jordan (R, Bremen)
State Representative Christopher Judy (R, Fort Wayne)
State Senator Tim Lanane (D, Anderson)
State Senator Jean Leising (R, Oldenburg) ($500 from BIPAC)
State Representative Justin Moed (D, Indianapolis)
State Representative Bob Morris (R, Fort Wayne) ($2,000 from BIPAC)
State Representative Curt Nisly (R, Goshen)
State Representative Scott Pelath (D, Michigan City)
State Representative Matt Pierce (D, Bloomington)
State Representative Gregory W. Porter (D, Indianapolis)
State Representative Cherrish S. Pryor (D, Indianapolis)
State Senator Lonnie M. Randolph, Jr. (D, East Chicago)
State Representative Robin Shackleford (D, Indianapolis)
State Senator Jim Smith (R, Charlestown) ($500 from BIPAC)
State Representative Vernon G. Smith (D, Gary)
State Representative Steven R. Stemler (D, Jeffersonville)
State Senator Mark Stoops (D, Bloomington)
State Representative Vanessa Summers (D, Indianapolis)
State Senator Greg Taylor (D, Indianapolis)
State Representative Joe Taylor, III (D, South Bend)
State Representative Heath VanNatter (R, Kokomo)
State Representative Timothy Wesco (R, Mishawaka)
State Representative Melanie Wright (D, Yorktown)
State Senator R. Michael Young (R, Indianapolis)

DID NOT VOTE – The following 3 Indiana General Assembly members did not vote on the Taxpayer UNfriendly HB 1002:
State Senator Phil Boots (R, Crawfordsville) ($500 from BIPAC)
State Representative Steve Davisson (R, Salem)
State Representative David A. Wolkins (R, Winona Lake) ($1,000 from BIPAC)

NOTE: The 2016 itemized campaign contributions from BIPAC included (a) $15,000 to the Indiana Republican State Committee; (b) $38,000 to the House Republican Campaign Committee; (c) $10,000 to the Senate Majority Campaign Committee; and (d) a total of $176,131.76 to Governor Holcomb, 55 Indiana State Representatives, and 32 Indiana State Senators. BIPAC got a great return for their money because Governor Holcomb, 53 of the 55 State Representatives, and 28 of the 32 State Senators who received BIPAC campaign contributions supported the Taxpayer UNfriendly HB 1002.

Did You Know?
05/06/2017: 
The 2017 Indiana General Assembly addressed the topic of transportation infrastructure funding with Indiana House Bill 1002: see http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/house/1002. The Indiana House of Representatives passed HB 1002 by a 69-29 vote on April 21, 2017. The Indiana Senate passed HB 1002 by a 37-12 vote on April 22, 2017. Governor Eric Holcomb signed HB 1002 into law on April 27, 2017.

It has been reported that HB 1002 will provide in Fiscal Year 2018 an additional $357 million in state funding and $260 million in local funding to maintain and improve the state's roads and bridges. This funding will apparently continue to increase year-over-year, reaching $1.2 billion by 2024 - with about $850 million for state transportation infrastructure and $350 million for local transportation infrastructure.

The sixty major provisions of HB 1002 are summarized online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/transportation_infrastructure_outcome.htm. Twenty-seven of the HB 1002 provisions are Taxpayer UNfriendly – these provisions represent an unnecessary elephantine grab of money out of the pockets of individual Hoosier taxpayers. Twenty-six of the HB 1002 provisions are Taxpayer Neutral, while only seven HB 1002 provisions are considered Taxpayer Friendly because they are results-oriented, compassionate, and fiscally responsible. 

HB 1002 is overall Taxpayer UNfriendly because too much money is unnecessarily taken from vulnerable low-income and fixed-income Hoosiers.

Hot Topics.

Who Are Your Elected Officials: You can enter your address or click on a map to see a list of all your elected official - local, state, federal - in one place. All information on this site is maintained by your local county circuit court clerk's office in conjunction with the Indiana Secretary of State's office.

Indiana Transparency Portal: This one-stop online portal for state government information provides easy access to all state contracts, employee salaries, an interactive budget section, revenue data, state debt authority overview, financial statements for both local governments and state government, performance information, and recovery and reinvestment act information.

Third Grade Best Practices Practices Inventory Report: Nine "Best Practices" have been identified from the Best Practices data provided by some Principals of the Indiana elementary schools that were among the Third Grade Spring 2010 ISTEP+ Results Leaders. These improvement ideas will be helpful to those Hoosiers concerned about K-12 public education.

Indiana's Cash For College: Updated annually in the lead-up to Indiana's March 10 financial aid deadline, Cash for College works to equip students and families with the practical steps needed to plan and pay for college. Indiana's Cash for College Campaign is made possible by Learn More Indiana, a partnership of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana.

2008 House Bill 1001: Thanks to the November 2, 2010 passage of the Constitutional Amendment, this comprehensive property tax relief bill makes the state and local tax burden of Hoosier working families more fair and affordable by moving away from property taxes to sales and income taxes.

Redevelopment Commissions Oversight: Watchdog Indiana supports much improved oversight over redevelopment commissions and departments by (a) the legislative or fiscal body of the taxing unit that created a redevelopment commission or department, (b) the State Board of Accounts, and (c) everyday Hoosiers through the public meeting and public records laws.

UPDATED! Rational Municipal Annexations and Reorganizations: Many concerned Hoosiers realize that Indiana Code changes are needed to protect against illogical and predatory municipal annexations and reorganizations. Proposed legislation for municipal annexation reform can be found on the Watchdog Indiana web page at http://www.finplaneducation.net/municipal_annexation_reform.htm

Township Government Reform: Watchdog Indiana has developed a position on township government reform that includes placing the public question "Shall the township government be retained?" on the ballot in every county.

Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network: If you or someone you know is behind on the mortgage, or even in danger of falling behind, please contact the IFPN, a statewide program to provide free mortgage foreclosure counseling and education to at-risk homeowners. All Network services are free, and all Network counselors are certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. 

Watchdog Indiana Topics Index
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This page was last updated on 05/06/17.