Combined Regular Session – Work Session of the County Council Tonight

Tonight, the Monroe County Council will conduct a brief regular meeting at 5:30PM in the Nat U Hill Room, to hear one item of business (creating budget lines, and possibly appropriating the funding from the $2M infrastructure general obligation (GO) bond passed by the Council in late 2013. The following are the lines that will be created, which shows what the proceeds of the bond will be spent on:

  • 10.0014 Administration Costs
  • 30.0001 Bond Issuing Cost $ 80,000.00
  • 40.0001 Showers Building Repair 200,000.00
  • 40.0002 IT Infrastructure 176,000.00
  • 40.0003 Courthouse Waterproofing 600,000.00
  • 40.0004 Jail Remodel 270,000.00
  • 40.0005 County Vehicles 41,641.00
  • 40.0006 Voter Registration 20,000.00
  • 40.0007 Archive Project 20,000.00
  • 40.0008 Proximity Locks/Fire Suppression 35,000.00
  • 40.0009 Jail Control Panel 222,000.00
  • 40.0010 Siren 25,000.00
  • 40.0011 Ambulance 100,000.00
  • 40.0012 Solar Thermal System 160,359.00
  • 40.0013 Karst Connection Trail 50,000.00
  • Total: $2,000,000.00

Public comment will be taken at the beginning of this regular session.

After the regular session is adjourned, the council will meet in a work session. As always, although public comment isn’t taken at work sessions, they are open to the public (and we welcome members of the public!). The following items are planned to be discussed at this work session:

  1. Resolution for Replacement of Lost Personal Property Tax Revenue 
    The council will consider a resolution requesting that the Indiana General Assembly take no action this year regarding exempting business personal property from taxation, but rather take the time to come up with a more comprehensive property tax reform solution. The resolution also requests that IF the General Assembly does take action this year, that the state simultaneously provides a replacement for the lost revenue.
  2. AIC Debrief
    Council members will provide comments and discussion related to the Association of Indiana Counties Legislative Conference, in which 5 County Council members participated last week.
  3. Brief Discussion of Public Defender PERF Payments
    This is a brief follow-up to ongoing discussions about a mandate from the Public Defender Commission to equalize the compensation between the Chief Public Defender and the Prosecutor (as well as between their chief deputies). The Council has discussed the equivalence of salaries in the past, and at last month’s meeting, raised the salaries of the Chief Public Defender and his chief deputy to match their counterparts in the prosecutor’s office. This discussion will focus on the degree to which their benefits are equivalent. Currently, the County pays the 3% employee contribution to the PERF retirement fund on behalf of all county employees who are in the PERF program (including the Chief Public Defender). The State pays the Prosecutor’s 3% employee contribution. However, the County is not required to at this point, and the issue has been raised that if the Public Defender Commission is going to mandate that benefits, as well as compensation be equal, then the Commission should mandate that ALL counties pay the 3%, not just those that voluntarily pay it today.
  4. Technical Services Update
    Commissioners Administrator Angie Chalfant will provide a brief update to the Council on plans for the Technical Services department, which has seen substantial staff attrition recently and has multiple vacant positions.
  5. Plan Commission Compensation
    The Council will continue previous discussions on increasing the compensation for Plan Commission members, who spend many hours each month in meetings and need to drive all over the county to visit sites.

Attached is the official agenda as of yesterday evening. The Plan Commission Compensation issue did not make it on the agenda before it was distributed.

Two Carmel Tax Abatements May be Revoked

The IndyStar reported this morning that two Carmel corporate tax abatements may be at risk of being revoked.

Both companies, Dormir (AKA Sleep LLC) and Pharmakon Long Term Care Pharmacy, Inc. were given personal property tax abatements by the City of Carmel in 2008 for moving their facilities to Carmel. The tax abatements were on the value of information technology (IT) equipment installed at the facilities for use in manufacturing and distribution activities.

When a company applies for a tax abatement in Indiana, it is required to file a Statement of Benefits stating the amount of the investment the company is requesting a tax abatement on, as well as the number of jobs and salaries that it estimates will be created by the investment. The company is then required to file annually, for the length of the abatement, a Form CF-1 Compliance with Statement of Benefits – Real Property (for tax abatements on improvements to real property), or a Form CF-1 Compliance with Statement of Benefits – Personal Property (for tax abatements on personal property, i.e., manufacturing and logistical equipment). This form requires the company to report the actual salaries and jobs created as a result of the investment. These forms are then reviewed annually by the body that granted the tax abatement (in this case, the Carmel City Council) for compliance with the terms of the tax abatement.

According to the draft resolutions in the Carmel City Council meeting packet for 2012-09-04, neither company submitted their CF-1 forms this year for review (the form was due on May 15).  Also according to the resolutions, Dormir submitted a letter of explanation on August 8. This letter is referred to as Exhibit A in the draft resolution, but unfortunately has not been included in the meeting packet.

I have included the relevant portions of the meeting packet here: Tax Abatement Revocation Carmel 2012-09-04 Meeting.

Note: in the time I have been on the Monroe County Council, although we have occasionally had to chase down the information or follow up for more details,  we have not had a company with a tax abatement decline to provide a CF-1 compliance form.