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Wednesday, February 16,2011

Word on the street ...

by City Pulse Staff

Of 13 people surveyed on the street last week, six support the proposed 4-mill property tax increase solely or along with some cuts to services, five wanted to see cuts only and two are still on the fence. Two weeks ago, City Pulse interviewed 18 residents from various wards and demographics. Eleven supported a combination of tax increases and cuts to services; five wanted services cut with no increases; and two supported only tax increases. Not all interviews could fit due to space constraints.


— Interviews and photos by Yang Zhang, Alyssa Gienapp and Fiona Guo


Jerome Abood

Age: Declined to give


Occupation: Owner of The Wild Beaver Saloon, 205 S. Washington Sq., Lansing


Home address: Outside the city


Education: College degree


“None of us [business owners] are anxious to see a tax increase,” Abood said. He believes that the increase won’t make or break a business, though it would beneficial to know exactly what the money will be used for.


Richard Pesino

Age: 39


Occupation: Owner of Ernestos Hideaway, 109 S. Washington Sq., Lansing


Home address: 120 E. St. Joseph St. — 4th Ward


Education: High school diploma


“I am not opposed to taxes, but I haven’t looked into [the proposed] tax enough to say whether I favor it or not. I think a combination [of a tax increase and service cuts] would be better,” he said.


Gwen Jackson

Age: 56


Occupation: Facilities manager


Home address: 4th Ward


Income: $75,000- $100,000


Education: Associate’s degree


Jackson favors the 4-mill increase to protect important services.


Fred Marshall

Age: 41


Occupation: Service technician


Home Address: Churchill Downs Neighborhood — 3rd Ward


Income: $25,000- $50,000


Education: College degree


Marshall supports cuts to public services or mental health. Property taxes are high enough, Marshall said, and the city doesn’t need to place a heavier burden on those who lost their jobs.


Andrew Shipman

Age: 30


Home address: 2918 Timber Drive — 4th Ward


Income: $25,000- $50,000


Occupation: Meijer employee


Education: High school diploma


Shipman favors cuts to services over a property tax increase, but couldn’t specify which services should be cut. He said if he has to pick one, he would like to see cuts to public services.


Joe Fawaz

Age: Declined to give


Home address: 3215 Cambridge Road — 4th Ward


Income: $20,000


Education: College degree


Occupation: Salesman at Northern Home Improvement


“I Support all cuts. There shouldn’t be any tax increase —the government spends too much and most money is wastefully spent.”


James Howlett

Age: Declined to give


Home address: Unavailable


Income: $40,000


Education: High school diploma


Occupation: Retired.


“I favor cuts. People are already hurting now because of the economy, they can’t really afford tax increases,” Howlett said.


Rogelio Tello

Age: 35


Home address: 3rd Ward


Income: $25,000- $50,000


Education: High school diploma


Occupation: Unavailable


Tello supports a combination of tax increases and cuts.

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