County Officials Sell Their Legislative Priorities For 2011

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 6, 2010 Updated Dec 6, 2010 at 7:21 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Ask and you shall receive.

It's a philosophy put to the test Monday during a meeting put together by Allen County government officials.

That meeting provided a forum for the county commissioners to layout priorities they want action on in the upcoming session of the Indiana General Assembly.

A handful of state lawmakers were invited to a reception in the City-County Building that was held late afternoon.

One of three priorities the county commissioners want legislators to put on their "to do" lists is a bill that would permit Allen County to go away from smaller voting precincts, opting instead for large "Vote Centers" that the county figures would save taxpayers money.

A second priority is passage of what’s called cyclical re-assessment.

That concept calls for home re-assessments to be staggered over a five-year period, rather than requiring they be done in total once every five years.

Nelson Peters/(R) Allen County Commissioner: " That would allow those who are doing the re-assessing, those who have to do that function, the opportunity to perhaps spend a little bit more time, do a little bit more due diligence, without being so rushed."

Peters also believes that change would reduce the number of property tax appeals by homeowners who feel their bills are too high.

The final priority involves 911 emergency user fees.

Allen County is facing a $5-million shortfall in its 911 budget.

The county wants the state to permit wireless phone user fees to be hiked, so tax dollars don't have to be tapped for that purpose, and the county wants local officials to call the shots, not the state.

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