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Wednesday, February 9,2011

Bernero urges support for tax increase

Mayor: 'I have to in all honesty say I think we need more revenue'

by Andy Balaskovitz



Wednesday, Feb. 9 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero strengthened his support today for a potential property tax increase in Lansing.

Appearing
on “City Pulse on the Air” today, Bernero said he would vote for the
potential 4-mill tax increase and hopes city residents will too.

“This
year things are so bad, the cuts so deep, I have to in all honesty say
I think we need more revenue,” Bernero said. “The reason I said no for
five years on a tax hike is because it wasn’t necessary.”

While
the tax increase would make up for roughly half of the projected $15
million budget deficit, Bernero said cuts to services will happen
either way.

“The only question is do I need a meat axe or a
scalpel (to cut services),” he said. “I’m hoping they (voters) give me
the power to use a scalpel. If necessary I’ll use a meat axe.”

City
Council Vice President Kathie Dunbar is crafting a ballot proposal for
a special May election that would generate roughly $8.5 million through
a 4-mill property tax increase on city residents.

Dunbar and Bernero support the idea of letting voters decide on a tax increase.

Bernero
said he will prepare a budget that looks at across-the-board cuts to
services, no tax increases. But the potential election would take place
a few weeks before the Council must approve a finalized fiscal year
2012 budget.


See the original story from the Feb. 9 print edition of City Pulse here.




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