THE TOWN OF BROWNSBURG CONTINUES TO WASTE TAXPAYERS DOLLARS FIGHTING THE NORTH AND WARD ANNEXATION REMONSTRANCE
Elkhart Residents please click the Elkhart info tab for infomation
Feb 8, 2015:
The town filed their appellee brief on 1-21-2015 and we filed our reply brief last week. We also submitted a motion for oral argument.
Now, we wait to hear from the appeal court.
On 2-11-2015 at 130pm the local government committee will be hearing testimony concerning annexation bill 330. Please attend.
Indiana State House
200 West Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The meeting is being held in room 130 at 1:30pm this Wednesday 2-11-2015.
This may be the last chance this year that we will have to communicate directly with the congressmen who are drafting annexation legislation. Many have expressed their support. They have told us that our presence does make a difference; we need as many people as possible to attend this hearing. This will demonstrate our great concern and determination to get the annexation law changed.
CONTRARY TO WHAT THE TOWN WANTS EVERYONE TO THINK
WE HAVE NOT BEEN ANNEXED.
Many have expressed concerns about the new Brownsburg signs that have been appearing throughout the area. Apparently, the town has too much money and is spending this excess on a lot of unattractive signs.
The Good News
Due to our ligation, we have successfully stopped the annexation for 2 years so far; which has saved each property owner from paying a monthly charge for storm water and fire protection. That is a yearly savings of $120 per parcel. All property owners already pay for fire protection through county taxes because we are protected by the Brownsburg Fire territory. I am unsure why the town charges the town residents an extra fee on top of the fee they already pay.
We have once again prevented the loss of revenue from the Brownsburg Community Schools (totaling over $800,000 for 2 years), the fire territory (totaling over $140,000 for 2 years) , the public library (totaling over $48,000 for 2 years), and Brown Township (totaling over $40,000 for 2years.
For the second year, we have saved property taxes for all property owners that would have experienced a tax increase. 611 parcels out of 1193 parcels would have experienced a tax increase. (If you want to know if and/or how much your property taxes would have increased, please call me at 812-583-0129 or send an email and I will provide you with this information.)
I plan to begin fund raising efforts again around the end of February. Many have promised donations but have failed to follow through on that promise.
If you have not already donated please do, these early donations will save us the cost of mailing a donation request to you.
Final report of the annexation study committee link below
Nov 8, 2014: Click here for the draft of the final report from the Annexation Study Committee and minutes for the Oct 22, 2014 meeting with recommended legislative changes.
Here is the link where you can get more info concerning testimony presented to the annexation study committee. http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/committees/i_government_interim_study_committee_onClick below for the
August 23, 2014: The appellant court accepted jurisdiction.
Now ..... just a bunch of paperwork and wait for a hearing date..... We are in no hurry for a court date.
June 25, 2014: On June 20, 2014 Judge Coleman, at our request, signed an order certifying an interlocutory appeal and as a result all matters are stayed pending appeal.(one for the good guys)
June 21, 2014: On June 17, 2014 To my disbelief Judge Coleman issued an order of dismissal; but our case remains open on the issue of declaratory judgment and damages
I AM NOT DISCOURAGED. This is simply a bump in the road.
The statute simply does not support the dismissal of our claim. Nowhere in the Indiana annexation statute does it say that signatures have to be dated a certain date and it does not say that all owners have to sign to vote a parcel. I am confident that the appeal court will realize this and reverse the ruling.
June 10, 2014: Hearing was held at the Hendricks County Superior Court.
April 24, 2014: Hearing is scheduled for June 10, 2014 at 10:30am. Hearing will be held at the Hendricks County Superior Court in Danville. This hearing is relating to the town’s motion to dismiss our written remonstrance opposing the proposed north annexation.
April 15, 2014: Judge Coleman of the Hendricks County Superior Court is the Judge to which the town has finally agreed. This agreement came only after an order by Judge Kincaid that ruled the Judge would be selected from Hendricks County Superior Court Judges, as we had requested.
It is possible that Judge Coleman will recuse himself since this is his last term and he is retiring at the end of the year. If he does recuse himself, the Clerk of the Court will randomly select a Judge from the remaining Superior Court Judges as per Judge Kincaid’s order.
Our litigation process:
We filed a written remonstrance and petition of declaratory judgment and damages against the town of Brownsburg on Oct 7, 2013, with over the required 65% of land owners signatures so the court could order this proposed annexation not to take place.
The town filed a motion to dismiss, trying to claim that many of our signed parcels are not valid due to the date they were signed and claiming that multi-owned parcels must be signed by all owners.
The Indiana Code governing municipal annexations does not state nor does it imply that parcels signatures must have a certain date nor does it state or imply that multi-owned parcels have to be signed by all owners in order to file a written remonstrance.
We submitted signatures of property owners on behalf of 70.66% property parcels (843 out of 1193 property parcels) included in the proposed Brownsburg north annexation territory. Our actual number of signed parcels that should count is 829 property parcels, which is 69.48%. This number was obtained after subtracting 10 parcels that have changed ownership before we filed, and 4 parcels that had previously signed waivers to remonstrance.
Many frivolous motions have been filed by the town to postpone and to cost us and the tax payers more money. We are awaiting a hearing on the motion to dismiss before we can even proceed to the hearing relating to our actual written remonstrance and declaratory judgment and damages claim.
Once this finally gets to court, I am certain we will prevail!!!!
Do to our litigation efforts we have already prevented the loss of revenue of over $550,000 that would have resulted affecting the Brownsburg community school, fire territory, police department, and the library. Not to mention the tax payer savings that has also resulted this amount totals of over $163,000 in savings to those in the proposed north annexation territory.
See below of specific Indiana code regulations: IC 36-4-3-13 Remonstrances; hearing; order; requirements
IC 36-4-3-13 “an annexation may be appealed by filing with the circuit or superior court of a county in which the annexed territory is located a written remonstrance signed by:
(1) at least sixty-five percent (65%) of the owners of land in the annexed territory”
“(e) At the hearing under section 12 of this chapter, the court shall do the following:
(2) Order a proposed annexation not to take place if the court finds that all of the conditions set forth in clauses (A) through (D)
(A) The following services are adequately furnished by a provider other than the municipality seeking the annexation:
(i) Police and fire protection.
(ii) Street and road maintenance.
(B) The annexation will have a significant financial impact on the residents or owners of land.
(C) The annexation is not in the best interests of the owners of land in the territory proposed to be annexed as set forth in subsection (f).
(D) One (1) of the following opposes the annexation:
(i) At least sixty-five percent (65%) of the owners of land in the territory proposed to be annexed..
(f) The municipality under subsection (e)(2)(C) bears the burden of proving that the annexation is in the best interests of the owners of land in the territory proposed to be annexed. In determining this issue, the court may consider whether the municipality has extended sewer or water services to the entire territory to be annexed:
(1) within the three (3) years preceding the date of the introduction of the annexation ordinance
IC 36-4-3-15 Remonstrances; judgment; repeal of annexation; effective date of annexation
If a judgment under section 12 or 15.5 of this chapter is adverse to annexation, the municipality may not make further attempts to annex the territory or any part of the territory during the four (4) years after the later of:
(1) the judgment of the circuit or superior court; or
(2) the date of the final disposition of all appeals to a higher court”
Remonstrances; judgment; repeal of annexation; effective date of annexation
(b) If a judgment under section 12 or 15.5 of this chapter is adverse to annexation, the municipality may not make further attempts to annex the territory or any part of the territory during the four (4) years after the later of:
(1) the judgment of the circuit or superior court; or
(2) the date of the final disposition of all appeals to a higher court;
unless the annexation is petitioned for under section 5 or 5.1 of this chapter.
(e) This subsection applies if a municipality repeals the annexation ordinance:
(A) at least one hundred twenty-one (121) days after publication of the ordinance under section 7(a) of this chapter but before the hearing commences on the remonstrance under section 11(c) of this chapter; or
(B) after the hearing commences on the remonstrance as set forth in section 11(c) of this chapter; and
(2) before the date of the judgment of the circuit or superior court as set forth in subsection (b).
A municipality may not make further attempts to annex the territory or any part of the territory during the forty-two (42) months after the date the municipality repeals the annexation ordinance.
If you have any questions, comments, or useful information please contact:
Brownsburg North Group against Annexation
P.O. Box 258
Brownsburg, IN 46112
Phone #317-286-7316 Email: email@example.com