$175M public safety bond will raise property taxes in Lansing if passed in November

$175 million public safety bond will raise property taxes in Lansing, if passed in November
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - If the $175 million Public Safety Bond Lansing voters will be deciding on in November passes, the old McLaren parking lot on S. Washington Avenue could be turned into headquarters for the police and fire departments, as well as a 54-A District Court -- but there’s a catch.

Since getting a new location on Collins Road, there hasn’t been much going on at the old McLaren parking lot on S. Washington Avenue in Lansing. The city wants to change that -- but it will cost homeowners. Some aren’t too thrilled about that.

“Who wants to pay higher taxes on something that we don’t even want there in the first place,” said Jeff Hudcosky.

Hudcosky lives near W. Dunlap and Palmer streets in Lansing, and said he can’t afford to pay higher taxes - he could barely afford a vacation this year. Hudcosky thinks it’s a good idea to add something for the kids, as long as it doesn’t raise his property taxes.

“Like a park or something. Because that would bring everybody together, make everybody get along a lot better because there’s so many people that don’t get along right now,” said Hudcosky.

His neighbor, Laurie Smith, agrees. Smith likes the idea of having a police and fire department so close to home - but she doesn’t want her taxes to go up.

“McLaren basically left this neighborhood with a mess,” said Smith. “It’s abandoned, it’s not maintained, and I wish they would do something about that.”

But other homeowners in the area like the idea of having a public safety building in the neighborhood.

Steve Lundberg said the tax increase doesn’t really phase him.

“Because they’ll probably raise them for another reason anyway. So, as long as I’m able to get something out of it, I’m okay with it,” said Lundberg.

Mayor Andy Schor said he knows people are already struggling to pay for things like food and gas but the city’s first responders are working in pretty bad buildings.

“So it’s never a good time to ask the citizen for more money,” Schor said. “But at this point, we need it for safety. We need it for recruiting, we need it for a variety of things.”

Schor said the longer the city waits, the more expensive the project will be and the worse the conditions will get for first responders.

The proposed bond would raise property taxes by 3.9 mills for 30 years -- that means, the owner of a house with a taxable value of $50,000 would pay an additional $195 per year.

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