John Copeland (Taxpayer UNfriendly)
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Address: 2414 Travis Drive, Lebanon, IN 46052
2016 City Council Voting 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: Has not responded. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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: Has not responded. RECORD: It is not known if Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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: Has not responded. RECORD: All of Lebanon’s current 22 tax abatements were initially 10-year tax abatements, and Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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 Copeland voted against 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. Has not responded. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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 pay 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: Has not responded. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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: Has not responded. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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: Has not responded. RECORD: Instead of using the city's ample resources to pay for a new pool without a property tax increase, Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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 Copeland 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: Has not responded. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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: Has not responded. RECORD: Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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: Has not responded. RECORD: It is not known if candidate Copeland has received any campaign contributions.
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: Has not responded. RECORD: Additional information about the record of Lebanon City Council Member Copeland 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 .