Raising Taxes Won't Fill Lansing Budget Gap

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Looking forward, Lansing is facing an $11 million shortfall for the fiscal year starting July 1st, 2013. At this point, there's no clear answer as to how to balance spending cuts and new revenue. When asked whether they're willing to go to citizens for more money, some council members say it won't do the city any good.

"If we raise the millage, we are at our absolute cap and I don't think that's a wise choice at this time," said Lansing City Councilmember Jody Washington.

"It's a very bad thing for the city financially or fiscally to do that," said Lansing City Council President Brian Jeffries.

Lansing is only about 0.5 mill away from the 20-mill cap, meaning there's not a lot of room to raise property taxes. As for income tax, the city is already at the limit set by the legislature -- 1% for those living in the city and 1/2% for those living outside.

Other council members say everything is on the table, though the decision to hike up taxes won't be an easy one to make.

"We are beginning to affect our credit rating so we certainly won't take it lightly either way we go with it but that will definitely be something we have as a part of our deliberations and discussions," said Lansing City Councilmember A'Lynne Robinson.

However, according to Mayor Virg Bernero, taxes won't fill the projected budget gap. It'll likely come down to painful cuts and in the long term, fixing what he calls a broken system.

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  • by steve Location: lansing on Oct 15, 2012 at 09:39 AM
    what we need is city government to run the city like business ,make cuts wee=ll ahead of a possible deficit that means lowering pays benefits cuts to budgets across the board not just police n fire we had to give extra for this when we already payed for it once the real problem is benefits are more then true cost time to redo these benefits no body working for government should make more then in private jobs,take a look at all those worker who work for the city but live else where? if you work for city government u should live in the city ,just as if elected to office. benefits shouldn't be higher then those in private company's what this city needs is a real budget and live by it do with hard cash on hand not imaginary money that could or mite show up like normal people make counting your chicken before they hatch will cause problem all the time .what the city needs to do is being soft with union contracts they don't own this city we the tax payer does and expect them to make the hard choice that's needed to make this a vibrant city it being done across the country taking a hard look at government entitlements and benefits needs to be looked at or file bankruptcy like gm with government help n wipe the board clean no more contracts n pay what the real world pays its workers for the work they do a tax payer
  • by Sandi Location: Location on Oct 9, 2012 at 12:36 PM
    I agree with a lot of what Paul says, however, he doesn't live in So Lansing, where the police ARE NEEDED!. In one month with in a one block area of Jolly and Waverly there were 54 SERIOUS CRIMES. We need the police. We are short over 20 from what we had 2 years ago. Virg, needs to stop spending, and they need to look at how money is blown.
  • by RT Location: Lansing on Oct 9, 2012 at 10:25 AM
    @ Mike, Paul, and Ricardo...right on! Well said--you guys hit the nail right on the head!!
  • by Lee on Oct 9, 2012 at 06:39 AM
    @ Paul, I agree, we spend way too much money on things that don't make sense. The whole golf course issue is insane. Just get rid of it already!!
  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Oct 9, 2012 at 04:31 AM
    Oh my, whatever shall we do? Wayyy to many vultures riding on the back of taxpayers. Thank you. Ricardo
  • by Mike Location: East Lansing on Oct 9, 2012 at 02:50 AM
    Lansing has a spending problem, not an income problem. As it stands, this city is falling further into the economic abyss everyday and it is only a matter of time before the EFM makes his or her presents in the city.
  • by Paul Location: Lansing on Oct 8, 2012 at 11:05 PM
    How about e start by closing these community centers like the old Hary Hill High that cost us over 369,000 a year to opperate so a hand full of kids can shoot a few baskets or take a swim. next we can stop funding the community garden projects at 116,000 so 6-10 familys can grow less than $50.00 worth of veggies. The next thing is we dont have the tax money comming in because we have lost a huge number of residents. Therefore we do not need the same number of police and fire sorry but lets be real here. if we dont have the money they have to go. Next we do not need to fund a city owned golf course that again this year has lost several thousands of dollars and the list goes on and on with the waste in this city budget.
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