Unbeknownst to many, state law prohibits an annexation ordinance from becoming effective during the year preceding a federal decennial census. In other words, cities and towns are not allowed to make an annexation effective in 2019. This includes whether the annexation is municipally-initiated, voluntary, or super-voluntary. What does this mean for Indiana municipalities seeking to annex in the upcoming 6-18 months?
For starters, this law applies to 2019, allowing time for super-voluntary annexations to take place and become effective before the end of 2018. Super voluntary annexations require 100% of landowners within the annexation area to sign an annexation petition and can be accomplished within a condensed timeframe. As of the date of publication of this article, it is likely too late to get through a municipally-initiated or voluntary annexation and still make the ordinance effective prior to 2019.
Moreover, the rules do not prohibit annexation research, work or execution of the annexation ordinance during the year before a census. It simply disallows the annexation ordinance from taking effect during the year. Annexation work including, but not limited to, engineering studies, written fiscal plans, public outreach meetings and legal filings can all be conducted in 2019. However, the earliest any annexation that is completed in 2019 can become effective would be January 1, 2020.
Baker Tilly has prepared over 100 annexation fiscal plans for over 50 communities around the State of Indiana.
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly municipal specialists can help, contact our team.
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