Primary 2018: Voters support East Lansing Income Tax

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With 100 percent of the vote counted and a 58 percent to 42 percent margin, voters in East Lansing have passed the income tax request.

The final vote count is 3,137 “Yes” and 2,309 “No” votes.

This is the second time in two years that voters in East Lansing have been asked to decide an income tax request.

The tax rate would be 1 percent for residents and 0.5 percent for non-residents who work in the city.  The approval would initiate a property tax cut from a total of 17.6 mills to 12.6 mills for people who own property in the city.

It is anticipated that the income tax would generate about $5 million in revenue for the city annually and take effect January 2019.  It would stay on the books for twelve years.

This request varies from the failed 2017 income tax plan because it has a definite time span.

East Lansing, like many municipalities, is feeling a nearly $200 million financial squeeze because of unfunded liabilities like pension and retiree health care payments due over the next several decades.

If you are a dependent who is claimed on someone else’s income tax return and earn less than $5000 per year you would not have to pay the income tax.

There are currently 22 cities in Michigan, including Lansing, that have an income tax on the books.

East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows said the income tax will be “a great thing” for the city.

“Our next task is to contract with an administrator so that we can get the process going. Because, really, between August and January 1, we have a huge amount of work to do to make sure this operates appropriately,” he said. 

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