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Watchdog 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 Councils 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):
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):
TAXPAYER FRIENDS The following 41 Indiana General Assembly members voted NO against the Taxpayer UNfriendly HB 1002:
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.
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.
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
Click here for access to the various Watchdog Indiana web pages related to 29 different topic areas.
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Visit the Indiana General Assembly & Governor Ratings for a candidate's rating when voting for State Representatives and State Senators. NOTE: The ratings are only current through the 2013 General Assembly session - updated ratings information ceased after the 2013 General Assembly session.
E-mail to the Editor of your local newspaper a letter or opinion article about state cash revenues, cash spending, and long-term debt assumption. Use Letters To The Editor Via E-mail to find the E-mail address of the Editor of your local newspaper.
Use the Local Government Factfinding List to understand and influence the revenues, spending, and long-term debt assumption decisions of your local government.
Establish a local Watchdog chapter for your local government. Watchdog Lebanon is an example of a local Watchdog chapter.
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This page was last updated on 05/06/17.