If enacted, the legislation would require City-County Council review or approval whenever the MDC wanted to commit public funds for the payment of bonds, leases and any other 'loan' type obligation. It would require approval in most instances. It would require only review if the purpose was sale or acquisition of real estate for more than $5 million or for 3 years or longer term of payment - if less than either it would escape review and approval.
The bill makes the MDC budget subject to review by the Council and their books subject to audit by the State Board of Accounts. Their meetings and documents would be subject to the State's open door and open records laws.
Of particularly strong interest to me was the provision that any obligation of TIF funds for bonds, leases, loans, etc., (unless for the purchase of real estate noted above) would require prior approval by the Council. Also, for any TIF that generates more than twice the amount of money the MDC needs to pay the obligations of that TIF, the MDC would have to return the excess revenue to the regular tax stream, thereby going to help the schools, library, townships, etc. Currently, the MDC can and does return some excess to the regular tax stream, but there is no threshold above which they must. The Council would have to approve the amount each year, AND, would have the authority to change the amount up or down.
I tried to find others who had an eye on this bill and found this statement from the Indiana Farm Bureau :
Indiana Farm Bureau supported the bill because it provides much needed checks and balances and much more transparency.Absolutely.