Mike Kincaid (Taxpayer UNfriendly)

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Address: 915 N. Grant Street, Lebanon, IN 46052
Phone: 317-341-5934
E-mail: Mike.Kincaid@Metronetinc.com

2016 City Council Record

Voted YES to approve a county-wide 50% Local Income Tax increase that is twice what is needed for the Boone County Sheriff 2016 Business Plan – AND much of the excessive Local Income Tax increase will NOT be used to pay for new and necessary spending by other county police and fire departments: see http://www.finplaneducation.net/sheriff_business_plan.htm.

Watchdog Indiana Lebanon City Council Candidate Questions - 2015 Primary Election

Question #1: Will you support involuntary Lebanon annexation attempts, or will you only support city annexations where every property owner agrees to be annexed? Background: On November 26, 2012, the Lebanon Mayor lead the Lebanon City Council to pass an ordinance on first reading involuntarily annexing 8,270 acres in Center and Worth townships. On January 28, 2013, the Lebanon City Council amended the involuntary annexation ordinance to reduce the annexation area to 1,350 acres in Worth Township. The Lebanon Mayor and Lebanon City Council now appear to have abandoned this involuntary annexation attempt. For details see http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_worth_annexation.htm. Answer: I support annexations that benefit the residents of Lebanon and are supported by the majority of residents in the annexation area. If the majority of residents do not want to be annexed in the City and communicate that to me I would in most instances vote against annexation. I say most because I cannot predict the future and what possibly might need to be done to facilitate County, State or Federal projects. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid voted for the now-abandoned predatory and illogical 2012 and 2013 annexation attempts that squandered taxpayer dollars on expenses such as an annexation fiscal plan.

Question #2: Should the Lebanon Comprehensive Plan be consistent with the Boone County Comprehensive Plan where farm land adjacent to the city is preserved for the agricultural uses that protect our rural quality of life? Background: See the Lebanon Interchange Land Use Plan at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_interchange_plan.htm. Answer: The Comprehensive County and City Plans should allow for growth and give owners with land adjacent to the City, the right to sell their land to whoever they want too. RECORD: It is not known if Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid is taking an active role in the secretive effort to revise the Lebanon Comprehensive Plan.

Question #3: Is the willingness of the Lebanon Mayor and Lebanon City Council to award numerous 10-year tax abatements good public policy? Please include in your answer if there are any circumstances where you will support a future tax abatement for a company that does not promise to create a significant number of new jobs that pay a living wage of at least $15 an hour. Background: See the Boone County Tax Abatements at http://www.finplaneducation.net/county_tax_abatements.htm. Answer: Tax abatements are good public policy. Abatement is a tool utilized to attract business and industrial development to your area. Opponents of tax abatements focus on what they believe they are not receiving. Proponents focus on what they are receiving. Using this tool to attract companies to the Business Park has resulted in Lebanon receiving an estimated $2.6 Million dollars annually in property taxes just from that area. If that tax base wasn’t available it would result in the residents having to make it up. Most companies receive tax abatements while committing to increasing the number of jobs. However there are special instances when this formula may not apply. One instance would be development in the downtown area. I have supported tax abatement for residential apartment projects downtown. The reason is because of the economic development that occurs to support people living in the area. RECORD: All of Lebanon’s current 22 tax abatements were initially 10-year tax abatements, and Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid voted to award 15 of these tax abatements irregardless of whether or not the abatement recipients pay a living wage to their employees. Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid also voted for the 10-year tax abatement awarded in 2015 to Iron Men Properties for an apartments building project.

Question #4: Are there any circumstances where you would consider including more companies within the Lebanon Tax Increment Financing District? Background: See Lebanon Business Park 2014 Property Taxes at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lbp_property_taxes.htm. Answer: At this time I believe the TIF district is generating enough money to fund the projects that the TIF area was set up to support. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid voted to approve every company included within the Lebanon TIF District since 2008. Companies located within the Lebanon TIF District profit because they do not have to pay for their needed infrastructure. The property taxes paid by the companies within the Lebanon TIF District are captured by the Lebanon Redevelopment Commission to pay the debt service on infrastructure bonds while Lebanon taxpayers outside the Lebanon TIF District have higher than necessary property tax rates.

Question #5: How will you better manage the Lebanon city budget to control the city property tax rate that has steadily increased 57.13% from 54.44 cents in 2009 to 85.54 cents today (when inflation has only increased 10.50%)? Background: See Lebanon 2015 City Budget at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_2015_budget.htm. Answer: The city’s budget is in very good condition. After several years of cutting we were able to give our employees a small raise. Although I do not have the exact percentages at this time and cannot verify Watchdogs numbers, I will say that there are several factors that the Mayor or Council cannot control like fuel prices and insurance costs; the economy during 2008 through 2011 was a very tough time for government and business. The tax rate did increase 5 cents per $100 in 2014. The tax rate is projected to decrease in 2016. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid voted for every city budget starting with the 2009 budget.

Question #6: Do you believe that local Lebanon tax dollars and utility payments should be better spent on existing needs rather than build-it-and-they-will-come wants? Please include in your answer whether you support or oppose the spending on the following projects: (a) $1.710 million from the city for the “decorative” State Road 39 bridge panels over I-65, (b) $3.469 million from the city and $8.193 million from the state for the Indianapolis Avenue roundabouts, and (c) $500,000 from the city and $824,790 from the school corporation for the conference center at Lebanon High School. Background: See Lebanon SR 39 Bridge “Gateway” Project at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_sr39bridge_gateway.htm, Lebanon Indianapolis Avenue “Gateway” Project at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_indyave_gateway.htm, and Herman B Wells Community Conference Center at http://www.finplaneducation.net/wells_conference_center.htm. Answer: The city does a good job of balancing it’s spending on a variety of projects which may be labeled as needs or wants. It’s important to remember that money spent on projects comes from a variety of local, state and federal funding sources which mean most of the time the City must put in a certain amount of money to receive the state or federal grant. (a) The sign on the SR 39 Bridge was paid out of the business park TIF district. Those funds can only be used for projects that benefit the business park. Money spent on the sign came from property taxes from a few buildings in the business park. The sign is a land mark for Lebanon and creates a lasting impression. Love it or not; the design for the sign was chosen by a vote from the residents. It’s not the design I voted for, however I support the process. (b) The Indianapolis Ave project is funded mostly from the State. It’s a bargain for Lebanon to get that gateway road upgraded for what the city will pay. Opponents make it sound like the money is for a couple of roundabouts and fail to mention that sidewalks, a trail, curbs and drainage, a new driving surface, lighting and landscaping make up the majority of the project. Once it’s completed I doubt if any resident will say they would like to have the old avenue back. (c) The $500,000 the city invested in the high school conference center came from the business park TIF district; money from property taxes from a few buildings. No cost to the residential tax payer. The conference center has hosted many civic and business functions and gives Lebanon a classy, state of the art, professional meeting space. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid has voted for every costly build-it-and-they-will-come proposal approved by the City Council (including the Indianapolis Avenue roundabouts project) since 2008 irregardless of the needs of those Lebanon residents on fixed incomes and the families of the 43.6% of Lebanon school students receiving free or reduced-price lunches.

Question #7: Will you oppose circumventing state law by artificially dividing up future city capital projects to prevent concerned Lebanon citizens from initiating the petition and remonstrance process? Background: The Lebanon Mayor and Lebanon City Council divided the new $4.520 million Memorial Park swimming pool into two less costly projects so the petition and remonstrance process could not be initiated to avoid the unneeded property tax increases that were imposed through 2028 – see http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_park_pool.htm. Answer: The pool project was divided into 2 projects in order to get the project completed in one pool season and take advantage of some great interest rates on the bonds that were sold saving the residents thousands of dollars. RECORD: Instead of using the city's ample resources to pay for a new pool without a property tax increase, Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid voted to have the new Memorial Park swimming pool artificially divided into two less costly projects so concerned citizens could not use the petition and remonstrance process to defeat the tax increase.

Question #8: Do you support the imposition of a Boone County Wheel Tax? Background: State law allows city and town councils to initiate a county-wide Wheel Tax. Like any action taken by the Lebanon City Council, the Lebanon Mayor can veto a Wheel Tax that is passed by the City Council and it would take a two-thirds vote of all the City Council members to override the Mayor’s veto (see Indiana Code 36-4-6-16). Answer: Has not responded. RECORD: The position of candidate Kincaid on a Boone County Wheel Tax is unknown.

Question #9: Do you think Lebanon city government should be more open to citizen input? Please include in your answer if you support any of the following open government reforms: (a) allow public comment at every Lebanon City Council meeting, (b) allow public comment at all Lebanon board and commission meetings, (c) post all meeting agendas online with links to pertinent documents, and (d) post all meeting minutes online. Answer: The city council allows individuals to make comments. As far as other board meetings are concerned I’m not aware what their formal policies are, however I have observed people being allowed to make comments. I would like to see meeting agenda’s, meeting minutes and related documents available on the city’s website. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid has done little to make Lebanon city government more transparent and open to citizen input.

Question #10: Should all citizens interested in public service on a city board or commission be given the opportunity to apply, should the same person serve on multiple city boards and commissions (unless required to do so by Indiana Code), and should city employees be appointed to city boards and commissions? Answer: All citizens interested in public service can apply for open positions on boards and commissions. I see nothing wrong with city employees sitting boards as a citizen of the city. I would like to limit each person to one seat on a board; however, there are times when no one has come forth to work on a board and the person who steps ups happens to already be on a board. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid has done nothing to publicize openings approved by the council on city boards and commissions so interested citizens can apply to serve their community.

Question #11: Will you accept campaign contributions from businesses, business political action committees, and business employees who benefit – or hope to benefit – from Lebanon government contracts, development subsidies, and tax abatements? Background: See Friends of Huck Lewis 2014 Campaign Receipts and Expenditures at http://www.finplaneducation.net/huck_lewis_2014.htm. Answer: I haven’t had to spend any money on getting elected so I have never had to collect donations. If I had to spend $20,000 to get elected I would use the current system which allows me to accept donations. I would accept donations from people I liked, trusted and weren’t linked to any criminal or immoral activities. RECORD: The campaign finance reports filed by candidate Kincaid are available for review in the Boone County Clerk's office.

Question #12: Do you wish to make some additional comments about your candidacy? Do you have a campaign phone number and E-mail address? Do you have a website? Answer: If you watch the news it’s easy to get cynical about government and the motives behind the decisions that are made. From my experience locally, I can say that the people I work with in city and county government are good hearted individuals who genuinely want to do good work. All in all Lebanon is in good shape and we are making progress in many areas. I do not have a campaign phone number, e-mail address or website. My city e-mail address is mkincaid1@cityoflebanon.org. RECORD: Additional information about the record of Lebanon City Council Member Kincaid since he was first elected in 2007 can be obtained from the Lebanon City Council meeting minutes (which can only be reviewed during office hours after a public records request to the Lebanon Clerk-Treasurer).

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This page was last updated on 10/12/16 .