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Judge: Library did not comply with public notice requirements

June 25, 2014

The Indiana Tax Court Tuesday upheld the decision by the state to reject appropriations and levies associated with the Speedway Public Library’s 2011 budget because proper public notice regarding the budget wasn’t given.

The library published notice twice in July 2010 that it would conduct a public hearing on Aug. 4, 2010, regarding the budget and tax rates and it would adopt its budget at a meeting Aug. 17. No members of the public attended either meeting. The library submitted its budget to the Speedway Town Council, which at a regularly scheduled meeting Sept. 13, approved and adopted the budget and tax levies.

But the Department of Local Government Finance refused to approve the 2011 budget because no notice complying with I.C. 6-1.1-17-3 had been provided to the public regarding the Sept. 13 adoption meeting. The DLGF instead reinstituted the appropriations and levies associated with the library’s 2010 budget.

Senior Judge Thomas Fisher affirmed in The Speedway Public Library v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, 49T10-1103-TA-22. Fisher rejected the library’s claims that the town council did not adopt the budget at the Sept. 13 meeting but merely reviewed it. He also disagreed with the library’s argument that it didn’t have to give notice of the meeting because it had already complied with and satisfied the notice requirements.

When the town council received the library’s proposed budget and tax rates, it was required to conduct a hearing thereon, Fisher wrote. Notice of that hearing was statutorily required.
 

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