Tuesday, May 26, 2020

City officials field income tax questions at community forum

November 30, 2018
The East Lansing City Hall on July 3, 2018.
The East Lansing City Hall on July 3, 2018. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Newly minted income tax administrator DaMar Boyd and city manager George Lahanas gave a presentation on the forthcoming East Lansing city income tax on Nov. 27 at the Hannah Community Center.

"I appreciate you all coming out here on such a cold night," Lahanas said. "Obviously, we all know why we're here. Last August, we had our income tax pass."

The city has been hosting informational meetings leading up to the tax's implementation in January 2019. East Lansing residents will pay 1 percent of all income, while those who work in the city but live elsewhere will pay a half-percent.

Although widely supported in the Aug. 7 election, the tax has left some residents curious about the nitty-gritty details of its implementation. 

Residents in attendance asked about its impact on family trusts, the taxation of independent subcontractors and how those who may work in Lansing and live in East Lansing — or vice versa — will be affected by both cities having income taxes.

It will be easiest to have employers withhold income from paychecks, Boyd said, and if employers are hesitant they can call the city and have the process explained to them. Cash and check payments will also be accepted, and information on the possibility of paying via credit card is forthcoming.

No returns including the new income tax will be filed until 2020.

An informational meeting covering the tax's impact on corporations is scheduled for Dec. 3, according to Boyd.

This story has been updated; the income tax administrator's name is DaMar Boyd, not DeMar.

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