Porter County, IN, will spend around $100,000 for a special election Nov. 3 to ask voters if they want to join the RTA, an unelected taxing board with the purpose of generating local tax revenue to fund the Regional Development Authority’s projects.  Only two counties of the four mandated to hold the referendum will participate.  So what does this mean for the validity of the election?  From the Post Tribune, Officials baffled by RTA referendum


…Residents, officials and even some lawmakers have wondered whether the public question holds any real practical significance or potential legal consequences.

“It probably means very little with only two out of the four participating,” said state Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso.

If the two counties put the question on May’s ballot, “I don’t even know what it would mean,” Soliday said…

How comforting that our state government is in such capable hands. And if the Indiana powers-that-be decide that voters aren’t capable of seeing their own best interests?

…And what if the state Legislature decides to create the four-county transportation district next session, regardless of the voting outcome?

“People’s vote don’t count in the first place? Is this a trick?” Jones said.

Soliday said it’s “highly unlikely” that such a proposal would come up from either party next session.

“It’s an election year,” he said.

More at the link.

The Post’s editorial page thinks the vote’s a joke:  Referendum on RTA becomes comedy skit

…Would the votes in Porter and St. Joseph counties be the only ones that count since they met the Nov. 3 mandate? And if only two counties vote on time, would the referendum fail if one of them rejects the RTA? Or would the results of the 2010 vote count?

Having votes in two different years on the same issue makes no sense. Whether to create an RTA is a serious issue. The state ought to step in and treat it as such.


Not next year, Post Tribune editors.  It’s an election year, remember?

And if they throw caution to the winds and ram this down northwest Indiana’s throat, the same people who are campaigning against the RTA (of which I am one) will take our campaign to the State House.