INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb agrees with the Indiana General Assembly that Griffith deserves another year to complete its exit from Calumet Township.
On Monday, Holcomb signed House Enrolled Act 1177 into law. It extends until November 2020 the deadline for Griffith to join either North or St. John township in Lake County.
Rick Ryfa, Griffith town council president, said town leaders are planning to make another approach to officials in both townships about the benefits of absorbing Griffith, now that there is additional time to fully understand all the financial ramifications.
"We've been waiting for the legislative session to end before we did anything," Ryfa said. "So we will start to see what steps we'll go forward from here."
"It certainly gives plenty of time for anybody to have any questions answered in either of the two townships."
Griffith citizens last year voted to secede from Calumet Township, due in part to the township's highest-in-the-state poor relief property tax rate; the revenue from which mostly is paid by, but not spent on, Griffith residents.
However, prior to the law change, Griffith would have had to remain in Calumet Township if it was unsuccessful at joining a neighboring township within one year, and, so far, both North and St. John townships have shown little interest in taking Griffith.
Ryfa believes both townships should take another look, since the tax revenue contributed by the town exceeds the services used by its residents, and the 2020 elimination of a Lake County property tax cap exemption means local governments will be hurting for revenue.