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Once again, East Lansing voters will consider a city income tax

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

For the second time, voters in East Lansing are being asked to approve a city income tax.

The proposal on Tuesday’s ballot would create a one percent income tax for East Lansing residents and half a percent for non-residents who work in the city.

Gary Beaudoin is a spokesman for the YES campaign.  He says the money generated from the income tax will help East Lansing address its legacy labor costs and other issues.

“This is directed specifically at percentages to legacy costs, fire, police and infrastructure parks and recreation,” says Beaudoin.

Last year, 53% of East Lansing voters rejected a similar income tax proposal.  

Opponents say this new proposal still does not address the city’s internal issues that helped create the problem.

Donald Power is a spokesman for a group of East Lansing residents fighting the income tax.  

“It’s a bad idea because it won’t solve the problem that caused it. It will not address those and they continue on,” says Power.

This year’s income tax proposal is different from the one that failed last year.

Under the 2017 proposal, the money raised would have gone into the city’s general fund. Under the proposal going to voters on Tuesday, the money would be earmarked specifically for paying down East Lansing’s legacy costs and spending on public safety and roads.

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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