GRIFFITH-State Senator Rick Niemeyer, who represents Indiana's 6th District, has put his support behind Griffith's efforts to leave Calumet Township. The Senator from Lowell authored Senate Bill 365, which he says would allow Griffith out of Calumet Township, even if they are not accepted by an abutting township.
"So this year my legislation did allowed them to try to join Ross Township since their abutting too, give them a year to get that done, if that all doesn't happen that gives them the ability to form their own township inside the Calumet Township portion of their town and they would take over those duties of township for the residents they have there."
Niemeyer says the legislation was started due to the exorbitant tax rates and the money Griffith residents were contributing to Calumet Township.
The Senator says the original bill stipulated that to trigger the legislation, the Calumet Township tax rates had to be 12 times more than the state average and at this point the tax rate is 22% higher than the state average in Lake County and it's not improving.
"I believe they told me last year the town of Griffith they paid in $2.3 million to Calumet Township and it got back $150,000 worth of assistance," Niemeyer said.
Niemeyer added the situation goes back to 2013 when legislation was passed to give the town and the trustee from Griffith and Calumet Township a way to help Griffith leave the township.
The Senator says SB 365 is now the remedy to fix the situation. If no township will take Griffith in at the end of this year in November, the town will have the ability to provide its own township services.