Income tax proposal in East Lansing gets pushback from community groups

One last push was made on Monday to stop forward progress on a ballot proposal this November in East Lansing that’s asking voters for an income tax to help fix a budget shortfall.

The East Lansing city council wants to implement a new 1% income tax for city residents and a .05% tax for those who work there.

Those with the group, Citizens for East Lansing’s Future, believe the East Lansing city council should remove the income tax proposal, and instead, work with the community to find a way to bridge the budget crisis. Members of the group say raising income taxes will scare off many groups of people, Michigan State students, those looking to work in East Lansing, and those who want to call East Lansing home.

“We think the city of East Lansing needs to go back to the drawing board” says Nancy Marr, an apartment manager who has dozens of employees who would be affected. “They need to figure out, just like a family, or a small business owner how to spend less than they make.”

President of Associated Students of MSU, Lorenzo Santavicca agrees.

“Every dollar counts, especially what we’re paying for tuition, rent, if you’re living off-campus you need to pay for groceries. All that makes a difference and I don’t think city council is considering that.”

East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows says he understands why some ore upset, but believes the upcoming ballot proposal is the best way to move forward.

“With limited options to generate revenue to fix our budget shortfall, we believe this is the right thing to do, and that is, to allow voters to decide on if implementing a 1% income tax is how to do so”

East Lansing city officials say if passed this income tax would generate 5 million dollar net revenue every year for the city. One million would go toward roads, one million would help city parks, and another one million would go to unfunded liabilities. The rest would go to local police and fire.

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