Council to Tackle Income Tax and Center City District Proposal Next Tuesday

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 2:39 pm
By: 
Alice Dreger

Based on communications from City staff, East Lansing’s City Council is set to take up two major issues at next Tuesday’s Council meeting: a possible City income tax and the Center City District redevelopment proposal.

The Center City District proposal will be first on the agenda, with the meeting dedicated to that starting at 6 p.m. on June 20. The second meeting, on the income tax, will take place after the first ends. We can presume the Center City District meeting of City Council will go at least one hour, because it includes public hearings, and public comments on this proposal—for and against—have been relatively numerous.

Yesterday afternoon, the City posted new materials on the Center City District proposal and notified Neighborhood Association presidents of its availability online. Some new material on the revised site plan and the financing plan are available here, along with a 41-page draft development agreement, but not the dozens of exhibits to which that agreement refers. ELi’s government reporting team is working through this material and hopes to bring you a detailed overview of the current plan tomorrow. [Update: read that here.]

As for the income tax issue, it appears details on that will not be available until late Friday afternoon. What we know so far is that Council is considering proposing to East Lansing voters an income tax that would be set at 1% for residents and 0.5% for non-residents, the maximum allowed for cities in Michigan. Council is looking to tie this to a property tax reduction that would mean that many homeowners who earn income in East Lansing would see little or no increased net tax liability to the City, although this depends on individuals’ income and the taxable value of their house.

Registered East Lansing voters would have to approve any income tax proposal. (A majority of those voting on the ballot question would have to say “yes” for the proposal to pass.) Council has been looking to put the issue on the November ballot. In order for that to happen, Council would have to work out the language to put on the ballot this summer.

For now, readers who want to catch up on what we know about these two issues before Council can check out material available via these links:

Remember, too, you can always contact ELi with questions.

 

UPDATE: Here's our report on the new materials released on the Center City District proposal.