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Thursday, May 02, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "Taxpayers may get hit with 'convenience fee' under new pay-to-pay law" [Updated]

Dan Carden's report yesterday in the NWI Times describing some of the enrolled acts signed in to law by the Governor late Monday begins:

Hoosiers soon may be forced to pay a "convenience fee" when using a credit or debit card to pay municipal or utility charges under a new law signed by Republican Gov. Mike Pence.

House Enrolled Act 1145, sponsored by state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, allows local governments and government-owned utilities to charge up to $3 for the convenience of accepting credit or bank cards.

That's on top of the credit card charge those entities can already collect to recover the bank fees they pay on each transaction. The new law authorizes the extra convenience fee, even though most credit card agreements prohibit it.

ILB: That is on p. 3 of the linked HEA.

This is the first I've seen this new law, but SECTION 3 (p. 4) is somewhat troubling. It changes the current law [IC 36-5-2-10] that:

(b) An ordinance prescribing a penalty or forfeiture for a violation must, before it takes effect, be published in the manner prescribed by IC 5-3-1, unless:
And adds this exception:
... if a town publishes any of its ordinances in book or pamphlet form, no other publication is required. If an ordinance prescribing a penalty or forfeiture for a violation is published under this subsection, it takes effect two (2) weeks after the publication of the book or pamphlet.
I see no requirement that this "ordinance prescribing a penalty or forfeiture" must be promulgated in any way, by newspaper notice or on the internet. It appears that the pamphlet may simply be "filed" in a desk drawer.

[More] IC 36-5-2, discussed above, deals with the Government of Towns, and their Legislative Bodies.

Attorney Ted Waggoner writes to point to IC 36-2-4, which deals with County Government and its Legislative Procedures, which has stricter requirements for publication and promulgation, as at Sec. 8

(b) An ordinance prescribing a penalty or forfeiture for a violation must, before it takes effect, be published once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks, according to IC 5-3-1. However, if such an ordinance is adopted by the legislative body of a county subject to IC 36-2-3.5 and there is an urgent necessity requiring its immediate effectiveness, it need not be published if:
(1) the county executive proclaims the urgent necessity; and
(2) copies of the ordinance are posted in three (3) public places in each of the districts of the county before it takes effect.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 2, 2013 09:51 AM
Posted to Indiana Government