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Monday, March 18,2013

A May election and another golf deficit

The Lansing City Council is expected to approve tonight a May election to increase taxes

by Andy Balaskovitz
Monday, Feb. 21 — The Lansing City Council is likely tonight to approve a special election to be held on May 3 to increase the city’s property tax by 4 mills in an effort to balance the budget.

Tuesday is the filing deadline for a special election. The proposal needs five votes — and appears to have them.
At-large Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar introduced the resolution at last week’s Committee of the Whole meeting. She wants voters to decide if the city should levy a 4-mill property tax increase to help patch the city’s $15 million projected deficit for fiscal year 2012. The levy is expected to generate $8.5 million in the first year and would last through 2015. The revenue would go toward “funding essential services, including police, fire, and local road maintenance,” according to the millage language.

Dunbar, Council President A’Lynne Robinson, At-Large Councilman Derrick Quinney, Second Ward Councilwoman Tina Houghton and Fourth Ward Councilwoman Jessica Yorko have expressed support for holding a May election.

In other business, the Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution approving the transfer of $136,937 from the Park Millage Fund into the Golf Fund to cover the deficit from fiscal year 2010. The money was to be used for a basketball complex.

The fiscal year 2010 deficit is more than double of what the 2009 fiscal year deficit was. The city approved using about $55,000 in carry-forwards from the parks budget around this time last year.

Groesbeck Golf Course is the only functional golf course in the city. Waverly and Red Cedar golf courses sit idle because the city was not able to maintain them.

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