COULD GUTHRIE TOWNSHIP BE DISSOLVED?
LEESVILLE - JANUARY 18, 2023 - This year, no one from Guthrie Township offices filed to run in the 2023 Election.
Lawrence County Zephyr asked the Lawrence County Clerk's office what happens when no one runs for those offices.
According to Billie Tumey, Lawrence County Clerk, The Indiana Constitution In article 15, when a person is elected or appointed to an office with a specific term, that individual serves not only for that term but until a successor is elected or appointed.
If no one has filed to run for any of these offices, then the incumbent office holders on December 31, 2022, will automatically serve another four-year term unless they choose to resign or otherwise disqualified until December 31, 2026.
Current Guthrie Township Officials include:
Stacie Ratliff - Guthrie Township Trustee
Nick Hubbard - Guthrie Township Advisory Board member
Angela Myers - Guthrie Township Advisory Board member
Brooke Hayes - Guthrie Township Advisory Board member
The Lawrence County Commissioners will be holding a meeting on January 31, 2023, at 10:00 am to determine the status of the Township Trustee and advisory board members.
The township officials voted on establishing a fire territory, in early 2022 with the Shawswick Township officials.
The 2023 Budget for Guthrie Township eliminated their fire protection budget for the township and the General Fund and Township Assistance was budgeted low.
2023 Budget for Guthrie Township is listed below:
The budget for the newly formed Lawrence County Fire Territory was released under Shawswick Township 2023 Budget hearing.
The newly formed fire territory will have a tax increase on Guthrie Township residents.
IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS
$100,000 Assessed Value Shawsick Twp. $5.76 Guthrie Twp. $6.40
Residential - $150,000 Assessed Value Shawswick Twp. $11.47 Guthrie Twp. $12.75
The proposed fire territory will have an impact on taxpayers in both Shawswick and Guthrie Townships.
Proposed Fire Territory tax impact:
General Fund: Budget: $673,290 Tax Levy: $630,000 Projected Tax Rate: - .2493
Cumulative Fire Fund: Budget: $78,000 Tax Levy: $84,139 Projected Tax Rate: .0333
Debt Fund: Budget: $82,800 Tax Levy: $89,872 Projected Tax Rate: .0356
Totals: Budget: $834,090 Tax Levy: $804,011 Projected Tax Rate: .3182
Taxpayers Monthly Impact
Residential - $50,000 Assessed Value Shawswick Twp. $1.76 Guthrie Twp. $1.95
Agriculture - $100,0000 Assessed Value Shawswick Twp. $17.57 Guthrie Twp. $19.54
Agriculture - $200,000 Assessed Value Shawswick Twp. $35.15 Guthrie Twp. $39.08
Agriculture - $250,000 Assessed Value Shawswick Twp. $43,93 Guthrie Twp. $48.86
Commercial - $100,000 Assessed Value Shawswick Twp. $17.57 Guthrie Twp. $19.54
Commercial -$200,000 Assessed Value Shawswick Twp. $35.15 Guthrie Twp. $39.08
Commercial - $300,000 Assessed Value Shawswick Twp. $52.72 Guthrie Twp. $58.63
Projected Overlapping Unit Impact on Local Income Tax
Lawrence County Impact from Local Income Tax - loss of $51,201
Bono Township - loss of $48
Guthrie Township - loss of $16,809
Indian Creek Township - loss of $281
Marion Township -loss of $874
Marshall Township - loss of $496
Perry Township -loss of $189
Pleasant Run Township - loss of $271
Shawswick Township - gain of $112,611
Spice Valley Township - loss of $273
Bedford Civil City - loss of $45,234
Mitchell Civil City - loss of $7,247
Oolitic Civil Town - loss of $765
North Lawrence Community School Corporation - Loss of $5,273
Mitchell Community Schools - loss of $2,833
Bedford Public Library - loss of $6,620
Mitchell Community Public Library - Loss of $1,718
Lawrence County Solid Waste District - $6,197
At this time, it is not known what the tax implications will be should Shawswick and Guthrie Township merge into one.
ELMINATING TOWNSHIPS IN INDIANA
In 2008, Indiana legislatures tried to eliminate 300 townships throughout the State of Indiana which included in Bono and Guthrie Townships in Lawrence County.
The House Republicans wanted to eliminate a third of the state's township offices that would save the state money. The Kernman-Shepherd Report which came following under Former Governor Mitch Daniels administration charged the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform with coming up with the recommendation.
Under H.B. 1005 at the time would have forced the smaller townships to merge but keep the current township structure in place.
Indiana Farm Bureau Association opposed the plan back in 2018 and under previous attempts to eliminate township government.
Within each county the Board of County Commissioners may create or abolish townships and their boundaries upon the petition of a majority of its citizens.
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