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Region Lawmaker Pleased with Secession Bill

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The town of Griffith is a step closer to joining a new township, and Schererville State Representative Hal Slager says he's pleased House Bill 1585 is going to the Governor's desk. The measure will allow the town of Griffith to vote by referendum to opt out of Calumet Township in Lake County if certain conditions are not met by the township by 2015. Griffith has been trying to leave the township for years, saying their residents send significantly more to the township in tax dollars than they receive in return. Slager says the township's poor relief tax rate is 22-times higher than the state average. Under the bill, the township will have a year to lower that to 12-times the statewide average, and if unable
the Department of Local Government will classify the township as a Distressed Political Subdivision. By 2015, if the tax rate is not at a minimum of 12 times the statewide average then the referendum process will begin.  Current law prohibits a town or city to remove itself from a township or apply to join a new township by referendum.
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