Brent Wheat (Taxpayer UNfriendly)

Watchdog Lebanon Home Page

Address: 2125 Witt Road, Lebanon, IN 46052
Phone: (317) 370-3442 

2014 County Council Voting Record

Voted YES to increase the 2015 property tax rate by 6.56 percent. Because almost all of the of the homes in Zionsville are already taxed to the property tax caps threshold, very few of the high-income Zionsville residents will pay the 2015 property tax increase. It is Taxpayer UNfriendly that Boone County businesses, farmers, and low-income residents outside Zionsville will pay a property tax increase because the County Council did not have the political will to cut their ample 2014 total certified budget by just 3.62 percent.

Watchdog Indiana Center Township Board Candidate Questions - 2014 Primary Election

1. What in your background prepares you to manage the fiscal affairs of the Center Township government? ANSWER: Did not respond.

2. What is Center Township’s proper cash balance as a percent of budget? BACKGROUND: The Center Township June 30, 2013, cash balance was 60.5% of the 2014 certified budget: see ANSWER: Did not respond.

3. Would the public benefit if the Center Township Fire Department ceased to be a separate entity and became part of the Lebanon Fire Department? ANSWER: Did not respond.

4. Should Center Township merge with the City of Lebanon so that the unincorporated areas of Center Township become part of the City of Lebanon? ANSWER: Did not respond.

5. How would you provide better public access, including Center Township Board meetings notification? ANSWER: Did not respond.

6. 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 campaign website? ANSWER: Did not respond.


2013 County Council Voting Record

Brent Wheat cast a Taxpayer UNfriendly Yes vote to increase the CCD property tax rate during the July 9 Boone County Council meeting. Brent also cast a Taxpayer UNfriendly Yes vote on the motion that would have increased the CCD property tax rate at the October 8 Boone County Council meeting. The CCD property tax votes cast by Brent Wheat are identified as Taxpayer UNfriendly.


Watchdog Indiana County Council Candidate Questions - 2012 Primary Election

1. Will you vote to impose a regressive Wheel Tax in Boone County? BACKGROUND: See ANSWER: Did not respond.

2. Will you urge our Indiana General Assembly public servants to pass legislation that makes better use of our Indiana Gasoline Tax dollars? BACKGROUND: See ANSWER: Did not respond.

3. Would you have voted Yes for the Boone County Council to send the August 31, 2011, letter to the Boone County department heads and elected officials requiring them to cut an additional 5% from their 2012 general fund budget because of revenue shortfalls? BACKGROUND: The Boone County Council voted 4-2 to send the following August 31, 2011, letter (indicated in ITALICS):

Boone County Department Heads and Elected Officials,

First and foremost, let us express our gratitude for your efforts in confronting our county’s serious financial situation. The thoughtfulness and professionalism displayed throughout last week’s budget hearings, despite the stressful and sometimes arduous process, were a credit to your offices and to our community as a whole. The council applauds your efforts and appreciates all the work you and your staffs have done to plan for the upcoming year.

Unfortunately, the county faces such a dramatic decline in revenue that the cuts made last week are still insufficient to balance our budget. County revenue has fallen more than $4.7 Million over the past two years. Through your efforts and those of your staff to find efficiencies, to make do with less and to identify alternative sources for funding outside the county’s general fund, by week’s end over $2.2 Million had been trimmed from the submitted budget requests. But this still leaves the total of requested expenses more than $2.5 Million over the county’s anticipated income.

To help close this gap, the Council voted Friday to require that each department review its budget and cut an additional five percent (5%) from the general fund budget reviewed by the Council. Because the projections for county revenue in the coming years show a continuing decline, you should not anticipate these funding cuts being restored next year but rather consider them as permanent reductions in funding. The Council recognizes, regretfully, that in many departments these cuts can only be achieved by reducing expenditures on personnel. While we have worked to protect our employees as this budget crisis has approached, the grim fiscal reality may mean that the county workforce will have to be trimmed. The Council also recognizes that achieving this further five percent will be extremely difficult, particularly for some smaller departments, and such extreme cases will be reviewed as necessary.

These additional cuts, painful as they will be, will still leave the county far short of a balanced budget. Last year the Council shifted roughly $1.85 Million of the general fund budget to the Rainy Day Fund to help cover the 2011 shortfall, and the Council plans to draw on the Rainy Day Fund again for 2012. However, this course cannot be sustained indefinitely, and without significant, permanent cuts or significant increases in revenue, our reserves will be exhausted in just a few years. For longer-term planning purposes, further reductions of an additional five percent should be anticipated for 2013 and beyond.

We ask that you have your revised budgets – including these additional 5% cuts from the General Fund – submitted to the Auditor’s office by the end of business on Friday, September 9th. The Council expects to discuss the issue further at its regular meeting on September 13, and likely at the joint meeting with the County Commissioners in the first week of October. One or more additional meetings to discuss and review these measures may also be forthcoming, as we continue to work together to address this very difficult and complex predicament.

Thank you for your service,

ANSWER: Brent Wheat voted Yes for the August 31, 2011, Boone County Council letter to the Boone County department heads and elected officials requiring them to cut an additional 5% from their 2012 general fund budget because of revenue shortfalls.

4. Would you have voted Yes for the August 9, 2011, Boone County Council motion stating, "If a full-time position is vacated an offer of employment to fill the position shall not be extended until approval from the County Council."? BACKGROUND: The Boone County Council failed to pass this motion by a 3-3 vote. ANSWER: Brent Wheat voted No against the August 9, 2011, Boone County Council motion requiring County Council approval for an offer of employment to fill a vacated full-time position.

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This page was last updated on 12/14/14.