Marcia C. Wilhoite (Taxpayer Uncertain)
Watchdog Lebanon Home Page
Address: 1025 E 375 N, Lebanon, IN 46052
2016 County Council Voting Record
Voted YES to approve a 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.
Voted YES to approve the Key Bank Building purchase. The Boone County Council did not have the condition of the Key Bank Building evaluated by a disinterested professional BEFORE final approval of a $1.85 million bond issue that included a $1.3 million purchase price with just $100,000 for HVAC improvements. A total of $785,000 was identified for needed 2017-2019 Key Bank Building improvements just a few months after the purchase was approved. Spending at least $785,000 for Key Bank Building improvements could take funds away from road repairs and the Sheriff’s Office – possibly triggering the imposition of a regressive Wheel Tax and/or an unneeded Local Income Tax increase. Also, it is questionable that the 44 year-old Key Bank Building will be modern enough to meet “future planning objectives” 20 to 30 years from now. See http://www.finplaneducation.net/key_bank_building.htm.
Campaign Contributions: January 1, 2016, through April 8, 2016
Candidate Wilhoite had no cash on hand on January 1. She received $1,175.00 in itemized contributions and $925.00 in unitemized contributions. There were no expenditures. The April 8 cash on hand was $2,100.00. There were five itemized contributions, the largest of which was $500.00 from the Committee to Elect David Rodgers.
Watchdog Indiana County Council Candidate Questions - 2016 Primary Election
1. What will be your public service priorities if you are elected to the Boone County Council? ANSWER: My public service priorities will be attending all council meetings, serving on the RDC Board, serving on the Solid Waste Board and serving on the committees I am assigned too as well as volunteering on other matters that come before the council.
2. Is the county spending enough of its available resources to maintain and improve the county roads in the unincorporated areas of the county? BACKGROUND: The 2013-15 State Budget made better use of the existing state Gasoline Tax and state Sales Tax revenues from gasoline purchases to significantly increase Boone County transportation funding. State revenues deposited into the Boone County Motor Vehicle Highway and Local Road & Street funds increased 38 percent from $2,900,956 in 2013 to $4,016,363 in 2015. However, only $2,888,947 was spent from the 2015 Boone County Motor Vehicle Highway and Local Road & Street funds – $1,127,416 was unspent and added to the cash reserves (the December 31, 2015, cash balances in the Boone County Motor Vehicle Highway and Local Road & Street funds totaled $2,933,169). ANSWER: Annually finding enough monies in the budget has been a challenge and remains a challenge regarding roads. We have spent down monies in rainy day funds, and currently we have not funded a 2016 summer road program. It appears we have a short term solution with the additional funds from the state but a long term solution needs to be developed. Roads costs are continuing to raise, and as the county continues to grow, as well as weather conditions, the council will need to address this issue.
3. Do you support a new county-wide Wheel Tax? BACKGROUND: Indiana Senate Bill 67 passed by the Indiana General Assembly this year will increase funding for 2016 to the Boone County government units by a total of $13,044,770. A one-time additional distribution from the state’s county option income tax (COIT) trust account will provide $4,106,918 in additional county government revenue this year, at least 75% of which must be used exclusively by the Boone County Highway Department for local road construction, maintenance, and repair. In addition, Indiana House Bill 1001 passed by the Indiana General Assembly this year created a state Local Road and Bridge Matching Grant Fund, which will provide matching dollar-for-dollar grants to a county or municipality that allocates certain revenues for the purpose of increasing the capacity of local roads and bridges. ANSWER: The wheel tax is one of the options available to the taxing districts to raise funds for roads. At this point with the additional funds being allocated to the taxing districts, it appears the council does not need to enact a wheel tax. As the economy in our county continues to grow, this also lends additional monies to the taxing district budgets.
4. What is an appropriate level of county cash reserves compared to the county’s annual operating budget? BACKGROUND: The August 11, 2010, Boone County Comprehensive Financial Plan prepared by H. J. Umbaugh & Associates (a PDF version can be E-mailed on request) targets 15% as a prudent level of end-of-the-year Boone County government cash balances compared to annual operating funds disbursements. ANSWER: From past history on the council having a 15% cash reserves has been a prudent level.
5. Do you support a new county-wide Public Safety Local Option Income Tax? BACKGROUND: See page 77 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Indiana Handbook of Taxes, Revenues, and Appropriations at https://iga.in.gov/static-documents/f/9/4/0/f9407ace/2015%20Tax%20Handbook%20WEBPAGE.pdf. ANSWER: The Public Safety LOIT is a tool that can be used to raise funds for the county. At this point I do not believe that it is necessary to enact this tax.
6. Should property tax rate increases be avoided to (a) protect lower income Boone County residents with homes assessed below the 1% property tax cap from tax increases and (2) lessen Boone County units of government budget losses to property tax caps? ANSWER: The State of Indiana tells the county the growth quotient that is applied. That rate has been running between 2.5 and 3%. Many of the changes to property taxes comes from areas outside of the county councils purview.
7. Should better use be made of the request for proposals (RFP) process to select county government service providers? ANSWER: I believe the application of using the RFP process enhances the ability of the purchasing process.
8. Is the Boone County Area Comprehensive Plan a good road map for future growth that also preserves agriculture as an economic development industry? BACKGROUND: See http://www.boonecounty.in.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=65. ANSWER: The Boone County Area Comprehensive Plan is a good document for future planning. It was developed from ideas by the populace of the county.
9. How can the actions and decisions of the Boone County Council be more open and transparent to the public? BACKGROUND: Good examples of how to provide open and transparent local government can be found on the Town of Whitestown web site at http://www.whitestown.in.gov/. ANSWER: The council is updating the audio and visual elements in the Annex building, hopefully this will help with openness and transparency to the public.
10. Should the individual votes of Boone County Council members be recorded in meeting minutes so the members can be held accountable for their public policy decisions? ANSWER: I believe the minutes currently record the individual votes, as well as the resolutions.
11. Should upcoming Boone County Council board appointments be announced ahead of time so interested citizens can apply? ANSWER: We have made an effort to to announce board appointments so interested citizens can apply.
12. Who is your current employer, and would service on the Boone County Council possibly create significant conflicts related to your employment? ANSWER: My current employer is myself. I have not had any conflicts and remain independent.
13. What is your campaign phone number, E-mail address, and website (or other online presence)? ANSWER: My phone number is 317.440.9246. And my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
14. Do you wish to make some additional comments about your candidacy? ANSWER: Has not responded.
2015 County Council Voting Record
Voted YES to approve the 2016 budget that lowered the Boone County portion of the 2016 Certified Property Tax Rate by 4.41 percent to 0.2168 from the 2015 Rate of 0.2268. This Property Tax Rate reduction is Taxpayer Friendly because most lower income Boone County residents whose homes are assessed below the 1% property tax cap will get some property tax relief – and Boone County units of government will lose less of their budgets to property tax caps.
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.
2013 County Council Voting Record
Two votes were taken by the Boone County Council to pass an unneeded Cumulative Capital Development (CCD) property tax rate increase that was ultimately disapproved by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance because, "The County has neither explained nor justified why an increase to the Fund's tax rate is necessary despite the County's existing cash balances." The first vote was taken on July 9 when the Council passed a motion with a 4-3 roll call vote that would enable the county’s Pay 2014 CCD property tax rate to be increased by 160% from $0.0127 to $0.0330. The second vote was taken on October 8 when the Council passed a motion with 5 voice votes to approve CCD spending in the 2014 budget that would increase the county’s Pay 2014 CCD property tax rate by 67% from $0.0127 to $0.0212. Marcia Wilhoite cast a Taxpayer UNfriendly Yes vote to increase the CCD property tax rate during the July 9 Boone County Council meeting. Marcia 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 Marcia Wilhoite 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 http://www.finplaneducation.net/wheel_tax_.htm. ANSWER: No response.
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 http://www.finplaneducation.net/gas_tax_reform.htm. ANSWER: No response.
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: Marcia Wilhoite was not present to vote on 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: Marcia Wilhoite was not present to vote on the August 9, 2011, Boone County Council motion requiring County Council approval for an offer of employment to fill a vacated full-time position.
2005 County Council Voting Record
Marcia Wilhoite voted NO against the Taxpayer UNfriendly "Family Meals Tax" (Food and Beverage Tax): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/family_meals_tax.htm.
Watchdog Indiana County Council Candidate Questions - 2004 General Election
Question #1: What is your opinion of the Duke Realty I-65 Project? Specifically, would you sign a petition to initiate the petition and remonstrance process so all Boone County real property owners can make the final decision to issue any Tax Increment Financing bonds to subsidize the I-65 Project? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record: (October 20, 2004, Lebanon Reporter): I do support Tax Increment Finance Districts. This is one tool the county has to direct and support economic development in new or blighted areas. Through the use of the developer's agreement, the county can direct what types of development it will support and set guidelines for how the development will occur. (October 27, 2004, Boone County Redevelopment Commission Meeting) Candidate Wilhoite, as a member of the Boone County RDC, seconded the motion and cast the deciding vote that allowed the Duke Realty I-65 Project to continue.
Question #2: Do you support a new Local Option Highway User Tax (or "wheel tax") on all vehicles registered in the County? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record (April 21, 2004, Candidates Forum): Candidate Wilhoite stated that she opposes a wheel tax for now because it is regressive. It might be a last alternative for future road and "convention center" needs.
Question #3: What portion of COIT revenue should be returned to the Boone County Highway Department as a funding source? Should any of the County's Rainy Day Fund be dedicated to the needs of the Highway Department? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record: None.
Question #4: Do you support using COIT revenue to provide an increase in the homestead credit on our property tax bills by an amount up to 8% (i.e. from 20% to 28%) as allowed by Indiana Code IC 6-3.5-6-13 (b)? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record: None.
Question #5: Should the County Commissioners be required to get pre-approval from the County Council before exceeding their legal services budget? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record: None.
Question #6: What should be done to absorb the 2007 reduction in inventory tax revenue without a property tax or individual income tax increase? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record (April 21, 2004, Candidates Forum): "Money will have to be raised somewhere and somehow."
Question #7: Do you support a "convention center" at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds? If so, how do you think it should be paid for? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record (April 21, 2004, Candidates Forum): Candidate Wilhoite indicated support for the "convention center" by stating that it would bring dollars and people to the county. She stated that private funding might be a possibility.
Question #8: Is the Lebanon Public Library Board member appointed by the Boone County Council doing a good enough job of representing all the interests of affected residents? Specifically, should Jane Myers have been reappointed as the Council's representative on the Lebanon Public Library Board? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record (October 20, 2004, Lebanon Reporter): Candidate Wilhoite lists Friends of the Lebanon Public Library as one of her community activities.
Question #9: Do you favor increasing the Emergency Telephone System (E911) Fee? Please explain. ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record: None.
Question #10: How should the county's $7,951,075 Rainy Day Fund be used? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record (April 21, 2004, Candidates Forum): Candidate Wilhoite stated that the County's Rainy Day Fund should be used to convert gravel roads to paved roads, for drainage needs, and to promote growth and development.
Question #11: Do you see any potential conflict-of-interest issues that could arise during your term as Council member? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record (Itemized 2004 Campaign Contributions as of October 8, 2004): Allen W. Milburn (Lebanon) $250.
Question #12: If elected to the County Council, will you run for a different elected office during your term? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record: None.
Do you wish to make some additional comments about your candidacy? Do you have a website? What is your preferred E-mail address? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. Record (October 20, 2004, Lebanon Reporter): The economy plays a large part in the falling dollars received from the County Option Income Tax. As the economy recovers these dollars should increase. If the economy does not recover, the council will have to consider either cutting services, change to CAGIT, or the tax rate will increase. The council has developed a list of guidelines to use when evaluating tax abatements. This evaluation guideline is an ever-changing document. Employer benefits is only one of many items to consider when making the decision to grant a tax abatement. My wish is to support new businesses with good employee benefits, higher paying jobs and a long-lasting commitment to the community.
Watchdog Indiana County Council Candidate Questions - 2004 Primary Election
1. What is your opinion of the I-65 Duke Realty Project? Specifically, do you think it is appropriate for TIF bonds to pay for residential development and internal roads? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND.
2. What is the best way for utility services to be provided along I-65 between State Road 334 and State Road 267? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND
3. Do you support a new Local Option Highway User Tax (or "wheel tax") on all vehicles registered in the County? Specifically, should a wheel tax be imposed to help Duke Realty build roads in its proposed I-65 Project? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. RECORD: At the April 21, 2004, Candidates Forum, Candidate Wilhoite stated that she opposes a wheel tax for now because it is regressive. It might be a last alternative for future road and "convention center" needs.
4. What portion of COIT revenue should be returned to the Boone County Highway Department as a funding source? Should any of the County's Rainy Day Fund be dedicated to the needs of the Highway Department? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND.
5. Do you support using COIT revenue to provide an increase in the homestead credit on our property tax bills by an amount up to 8% (i.e. from 20% to 28%) as allowed by Indiana Code IC 6-3.5-6-13 (b)? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND.
6. Should the County Commissioners be required to get pre-approval from the County Council before exceeding their legal services budget? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND.
7. What should be done to absorb the 2007 reduction in inventory tax revenue without a property tax or individual income tax increase? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. RECORD (April 21 Candidates Forum): "Money will have to be raised somewhere and somehow."
8. Do you support a "convention center" at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds? If so, how do you think it should be paid for? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. RECORD: At the April 21, 2004, Candidates Forum, Candidate Wilhoite indicated support for the "convention center" by stating that it would bring dollars and people to the county. She stated that private funding might be a possibility.
9. Is there a shortage of ambulances in Boone County? If so, what solution do you propose? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND.
10. Is the Lebanon Public Library Board member appointed by the Boone County Council doing a good enough job of representing all the interests of affected residents? Specifically, should the Council's appointed member be supporting the establishment of a leasing corporation to own an expanded library building in order to circumvent state law that will not allow the Board to borrow $8 million. ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND.
11, How should the county's $7,951,075 Rainy Day Fund be used? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND. RECORD: At the April 21, 2004, Candidates Forum, Candidate Wilhoite stated that the County's Rainy Day Fund should be used to convert gravel roads to paved roads, for drainage needs, and to promote growth and development.
12. Do you wish to make some additional comments about your candidacy? Do you have a website? What is your preferred E-mail address? ANSWER: DID NOT RESPOND.
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