Monday, June 1, 2020

City Council revives income tax for August elections

May 15, 2018
East Lansing City Hall is pictured on Sep. 12, 2017 on Linden Street. Here, the East Lansing City Council meets to discuss residents' concerns.
East Lansing City Hall is pictured on Sep. 12, 2017 on Linden Street. Here, the East Lansing City Council meets to discuss residents' concerns. —
Photo by Anntaninna Biondo | The State News

At a special meeting on Monday, the East Lansing City Council voted unanimously to place a new income tax proposal on the Aug. 7 primary election ballot.

If the tax is approved, East Lansing residents would pay a 1 percent income tax, with non-residents paying a 0.5 percent tax.

This new language is similar -- however, unlike last year's proposal, the tax is time-limited to 12 years and would go toward specific purposes like public safety, infrastructure and the city's unfunded pension liabilities, according to a press release issued by the city.

The city's continued attempt comes as the city struggles with a financial crisis, driven in large part by ballooning retiree pension and healthcare costs. From 2006 to 2017, the city's overall revenue decreased by 1.4 percent, while pension payments increased nearly 300 percent over that same timespan.

The city's previous attempt at imposing an income tax failed last November, with 53 percent of voters rejecting the proposal.

Stay with The State News for in-depth coverage of the income tax proposal.

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