Q&A: Public notice advertising

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From the Vincennes Sun-Commercial:

Q: Can you explain the requirements for public-notice advertising in Indiana? We need to make sure we have the latest information.

A: There are two types of public notice advertising: ads placed by government units and those placed by private parties.

If the public-notice advertisement, also known as a legal ad, comes from a local government unit, then the rate you may charge for publication is determined by a formula that takes into account the point size of the type used and the column width of the published notice.

The state Board of Accounts publishes charts that cover many column widths and lets a publisher know the line rate that can be charged for a notice that is published one, two, three or four times.

If members don’t have a chart for their publication’s width, HSPA can work with members to go through the formula so you will know the proper line rate to charge.

Under legislation passed a couple of years ago, the cap can be raised 2.75 percent a year.

This increase is noted by the state Board of Accounts when they issue new charts every December for the following year.

If the public notice involves tabular matter – lining up columns of numbers, for example – then a 50 percent upcharge may be added.

For notices placed by private parties (for the opening of an estate, a name change, zoning change requests, etc.), the newspaper can determine the rate it charges just as it does for other classified advertising.

Sheriff’s sale and foreclosure notices fall under this category even though they usually are placed by the sheriff’s department.

The ultimate person responsible for the placement is the buyer of the property, so it doesn’t fall under the price restrictions outlined by the state Board of Accounts in I.C. 5-3-1.