Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

January 2, 2013

Karickhoff reveals ’13 bill agenda

Tax and school proposals dominate legislator’s priorities.

Next Friday is the deadline for bill filing in the Indiana House of Representatives, and state Rep. Mike Karickhoff, R-Kokomo, has five bills in the draft stages.

Proposals to redirect local income tax to the county where people work, to streamline funding to local emergency dispatch centers and to change which local governmental body gets to decide on a county wheel tax are all on Karickhoff’s agenda.

But the bill likely to generate the most interest is a renewal of his attempt to regulate how public schools decide on transfers.

Karickhoff, who sits on the House Ways & Means Committee, drew criticism from Howard County school superintendents when he proposed legislation last year limiting the way schools can deny transfers. Under Indiana’s school funding formula, students can attend any public school that will accept them, but schools have varying criteria, some of which Karickhoff believes are too subjective.

He’s contemplating a proposal that would limit school transfer denials only to those students who have been suspended for more than 10 days.

“You’re not just going to be able to take smart kids; you’re going to have to take smart kids who are poor. You won’t be able to deny kids who are on free and reduced-price lunches,” Karickhoff said.

Kids who have flunked classes shouldn’t be denied either, he said, but the bill would be written in a way to ensure schools wouldn’t be penalized for taking those kids.

The measure is certain to face opposition from school officials, who already are under new performance-based school improvement standards, and who are concerned about taking students who might cause discipline problems or affect schoolwide standardized test scores. Karickhoff’s bill last year failed to advance out of committee.

Karickhoff said he also plans to take on the thorny issue of how local income taxes are distributed, by proposing a measure to redirect 20 percent of local income taxes.

Currently, individuals (except in Lake County, which has no local income tax) pay local income taxes where they live. Their home counties collect and keep those taxes.

Karickhoff contends that arrangement is unfair to counties with a large commuting work force, like Howard County. More than 10,000 workers come into Howard County to work. His argument is that Howard County — and other commuter work force counties — should receive a share of the local income taxes those workers pay.

Here, his opposition is likely to come from fellow Republicans in Hamilton County, which sends thousands of workers into other counties each day.

“Anytime there is a shift in taxes, there are winners and losers,” Karickhoff said. “The thing to remember about this bill is that it won’t affect individual taxpayers. They will pay no more and no less.”

After chairing a summer legislative committee that looked into how local emergency dispatch centers are funded, Karickhoff also is ready to propose a standard local income tax to help fund dispatch.

Fees charged to users of cellphones and land-line phones only cover a portion of the costs of running most centers, so locals have turned to a patchwork of different fees and taxes to cover the shortfalls.

In line with his focus on tax and funding issues, Karickhoff also is planning to propose transferring authority to establish a county wheel tax from county councils to each county’s tax council.

The tax council, made up of members drawn from both county and municipal councils, is often controlled by the local municipality.

In Howard County, Kokomo accounts for more than 65 percent of the population, so city elected officials make up the majority on the tax council.

Howard County, which has had a wheel tax for years, wouldn’t be affected by the measure.

Finally, Karickhoff, a motorcyclist, said he’ll present legislation to allow cyclists to turn left on a red left-hand turn signal, provided they’ve waited out one cycle of the light. Motorcycles sometimes aren’t heavy enough to trigger a left-turn signal, leaving cyclists with no legal means of making a left turn.

Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS KT 072314 Serena Youth Center pic Serena Youth Center to offer safe haven for young women

    Young women in Kokomo in need of security and additional support will soon have a new place to call home as plans move forward to open the Serena Youth Center. On Tuesday, Coordinated Assistance Ministries Inc. closed on a property for the youth cent

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents organize outreach for fire victims Josh and Courtney Justice lost everything they owned Tuesday afternoon after a fire ravaged their home in Indian Heights. The community has been reaching out to help replace some of what was destroyed. Just hours after the blaze displaced the Justice

    July 23, 2014

  • Kokomo Airport runway extension nearing completion After more than a decade of waiting, a runway extension project that will allow the Kokomo Municipal Airport to attract new business will soon be prepared for takeoff. The project, which will extend the airport’s main runway from 5,200 feet to 6,000

    July 23, 2014

  • Man jailed on sex charge Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old. Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on the

    July 23, 2014

  • Indiana Veterans Hall of Fame seeks nominations INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new hall of fame for Indiana military veterans is seeking nominations for its first class of inductees. The Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame says it expects to induct the first honorees around Veterans Day at Fort Benjamin

    July 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers approve pair of new license plates INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A panel of state lawmakers approved new license plates recognizing the Indy 500 and Abraham Lincoln under a new system clamping down on the number of special license plates on the road. Members of the Legislature's transportation

    July 23, 2014

  • Ivy Tech job fair Jobs for the future With an aging workforce, Duke Energy Corp. finds itself in a precarious position.The primary electrical power provider for Kokomo and adjacent counties, Duke Energy is the first line of defense when residents are left in the dark after storms and oth

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - KT072214 - Ryan Ledbetter mugshot - CLG Bunker Hill councilman Ryan Ledbetter arrested for firing gun

    BUNKER HILL — A member of the Bunker Hill Town Council was arrested Saturday after police say he broke a no-contact order with his children’s mother and fired a gun inside a trailer park near Peru.Indiana State Police responded to the Woodland Hill t

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indian Heights fire 01 [Duplicate] Fire engulfs Indian Heights home

    Josh Justice left his house and went to get a haircut Tuesday afternoon. When he came back, his house was destroyed. Firefighters said it was likely a propane-tank explosion inside an RV parked beside his house that caused severe fire damage to Justi

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Apollo 11 program at library Kokomo High School graduates Greg McCauley and Dave Hudson will present a 60-minute, graphic-rich multimedia lecture called Earth to the Moon: Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Apollo 11 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The lecture will be at the

    July 22, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.