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Lansing voters have a choice: Higher taxes or deeper cuts in public safety

Millage increase opponents stand outside Lansing city hall
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
Millage increase opponents stand outside Lansing city hall

Lansing voters face a difficult choice in next week’s election.   Increase their city taxesor possibly see deep cuts in public safety.  

The city of Lansing is facing a $23 millionbudget gap.     Next week, voters will decide if they want to increase their millage (by 4 mills) rate to raise more than 8 million additional dollars a year.   If that happens, city officials say that will reduce proposed cuts in police and fire.  

Patty Farhat supports the millage vote.   Farhat is with the group "Keep Lansing Safe."  She says the actual tax increase will be very small. 

“Five bucks a month…I think that’s a sacrifice that most people should be willing to make."

But John Pollard says the mayor’s budget calls for laying off police officers and firefighters even if the millage passes.    Pollard is with the group "No New Taxes".  

"We get to pay a heck of a lot more….for a heck of a lot less.”

Pollard says Lansing leaders should reduce spending to balance the budget, not increase taxes.   

Lansing's City Pulse newspaper says the vote appears close. 

The outcome of the May 3 ballot proposal to increase Lansing’s property tax millage by 4 mills is anybody’s guess. Opposition appears strong on the south side.

Flint and Jackson are also asking voters to decide controversial public safety issues May 3rd

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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