(please read and sorry it is so long-impotant infomation at the end)
LOIT Tax (Local Option Income Tax)
on the City Council tabled ordinances
and may be heard on Monday night!!
August 3, 2009 at 7:30 pm.
At the Muncie City Council meeting of July 6th, the taxpaying citizens of Muncie and Delaware County were prohibited from participating and expressing their opinions regarding the Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) when the Muncie Fire Department, for which this tax will specifically benefit, brought in busloads of firefighters from across the State of Indiana causing the occupancy limits of the City Hall Auditorium to be exceeded and thereby denying the local public access to the meeting. Unfortunately, this strategy was embraced by the Muncie City Council who did nothing to either change the Hearing location to a facility with greater occupancy capabilities or ask that non-residents exit the auditorium to allow for local citizen participation.
IC 5-14-1.5 Chapter 1.5. Public Meetings (Open Door Law)
IC 5-14-1.5-1 Purpose Sec. 1. In enacting this chapter, the general assembly finds and declares that this state and its political subdivisions exist only to aid in the conduct of the business of the people of this state. It is the intent of this chapter that the official action of public agencies be conducted and taken openly, unless otherwise expressly provided by statute, in order that the people may be fully informed. The purposes of this chapter are remedial, and its provisions are to be liberally construed with the view of carrying out its policy. As added by Acts 1977, P.L.57, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.67-1987, SEC.1……
IC 5-14-1.5-3 Open meetings; secret ballot votes; member participating by electronic means of communication Sec. 3. (a) Except as provided in section 6.1 of this chapter, all meetings of the governing bodies of public agencies must be open at all times for the purpose of permitting members of the public to observe and record them.
IC 5-14-1.5-7 Violations; remedies; limitations; costs and fees Sec. 7.
(a) An action may be filed by any person in any court of competent jurisdiction to:
(1) obtain a declaratory judgment;
(2) enjoin continuing, threatened, or future violations of this chapter; or
(3) declare void any policy, decision, or final action:
(A) taken at an executive session in violation of section 3(a) of this chapter;
(B) taken at any meeting of which notice is not given in accordance with section 5 of this chapter;
(C) that is based in whole or in part upon official action taken at any:
(i) executive session in violation of section 3(a) of this chapter;
(ii) meeting of which notice is not given in accordance with section 5 of this chapter; or
(iii) series of gatherings in violation of section 3.1 of this chapter; or
(D) taken at a meeting held in a location in violation of section 8 of this chapter. The plaintiff need not allege or prove special damage different from that suffered by the public at large.
(b) Regardless of whether a formal complaint or an informal inquiry is pending before the public access counselor, any action to declare any policy, decision, or final action of a governing body void, or to enter an injunction which would invalidate any policy, decision, or final action of a governing body, based on violation of this chapter occurring before the action is commenced, shall be commenced:
(1) prior to the delivery of any warrants, notes, bonds, or obligations if the relief sought would have the effect, if granted, of invalidating the notes, bonds, or obligations; or
(2) with respect to any other subject matter, within thirty (30) days of either:
(A) the date of the act or failure to act complained of; or
(B) the date that the plaintiff knew or should have known that the act or failure to act complained of had occurred; whichever is later. If the challenged policy, decision, or final action is recorded in the memoranda or minutes of a governing body, a plaintiff is considered to have known that the act or failure to act complained of had occurred not later than the date that the memoranda or minutes are first available for public inspection.
(c) If a court finds that a governing body of a public agency has violated this chapter, it may not find that the violation was cured by the governing body by only having taken final action at a meeting that complies with this chapter.
(d) In determining whether to declare any policy, decision, or final action void, a court shall consider the following factors among other relevant factors:
(1) The extent to which the violation:
(A) affected the substance of the policy, decision, or final action;
(B) denied or impaired access to any meetings that the public had a right to observe and record; and
(C) prevented or impaired public knowledge or understanding of the public’s business.
Furthermore, the Public Hearing on the LOIT was required to be noticed to the public a minimum of 10 days in advance of the Hearing of which it was not, and therefore was held illegally!!
Chapter 6. County Option Income Tax…….
Ordinances; hearing; notice
Sec. 7. (a) Before a member of the county income tax council may propose an ordinance or vote on a proposed ordinance, the member must hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance and provide the public with notice of the time and place where the public hearing will be held.
(b) The notice required by subsection (a) must be given in accordance with IC 5-3-1.
Chapter 1. Publication Procedures……
Public hearings or meetings, elections, and other events; requirements for publication of notice; posting instead of publication
Sec. 2. (a) This section applies only when notice of an event is required to be given by publication in accordance with this chapter.
(b) If the event is a public hearing or meeting concerning any matter not specifically mentioned in subsection (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), or (h) notice shall be published one (1) time, at least ten (10) days before the date of the hearing or meeting.
(c) If the event is an election, notice shall be published one (1) time, at least ten (10) days before the date of the election.
(d) If the event is a sale of bonds, notes, or warrants, notice shall be published two (2) times, at least one (1) week apart, with:
(1) the first publication made at least fifteen (15) days before the date of the sale; and
(2) the second publication made at least three (3) days before the date of the sale.
(e) If the event is the receiving of bids, notice shall be published two (2) times, at least one (1) week apart, with the second publication made at least seven (7) days before the date the bids will be received.
(f) If the event is the establishment of a cumulative or sinking fund, notice of the proposal and of the public hearing that is required to be held by the political subdivision shall be published two (2) times, at least one (1) week apart, with the second publication made at least three (3) days before the date of the hearing.
(g) If the event is the submission of a proposal adopted by a political subdivision for a cumulative or sinking fund for the approval of the department of local government finance, the notice of the submission shall be published one (1) time. The political subdivision shall publish the notice when directed to do so by the department of local government finance.
(h) If the event is the required publication of an ordinance, notice of the passage of the ordinance shall be published one (1) time within thirty (30) days after the passage of the ordinance.
Like putting lip stick on a pig, the additional Income Tax will double current local rate, nuetralize Modernization effort and destroy Muncie‘s economic development, it’s only answer to it’s many economic problems….
The Fiscal Body of the City, facing an imminent $4 million hit and a total $8 million shortfall over the next couple years and yet leading up to the crisis point, they didn’t even feel compelled to acknowledge it. NOW, that the reality has jumped up and bloodied their nose, they intend to make the TAXPAYERS accountable!!!..Delaware County families it is an ADDITIONAL $679.00/year…all on the back of a major recession, 10% unemployment and 18% (or more) poverty. Furthermore, you can DOUBLE the before mentioned figures to attain the TOTAL Local Income Tax local citizens are burdened with, for we already are paying a 1.05% COIT/CEDIT!
That additional $19 million that they want to thrust upon the backs of the taxpayers, is DOUBLE the entire Muncie General Fund in the current Budget. And that adds up to an ADDITIONAL $167/year FOR EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN THIS ENTIRE COUNTY! For wage earners only, it is an ADDITIONAL $384.00/year…For households only it is an ADDITIONAL $422.00/year..For all
Speak Up! or Pay Up!
City Council Public Hearing
7:30 pm, Monday night (8/3/09)
Muncie City Hall auditorium
Be there NO LATER than 7:00 pm and get signed up to speak because fire codes will undoubtedly be exceeded and you will not be allowed in!!
Until this issue is either enacted or voted down, whether at the August 3rd, September 14th, or October 5th meetings, the taxpaying citizens have been literally kidnapped and are being held for “ransom” to appease the special interests and Muncie’s fiscal problems.
Please, please, share this alert with everyone on your contacts lists!!