Debate about Property Tax Millage Continues

By Katie Harrington
Old Town Times staff writer

Feelings about the property tax millage varied at the Lansing City Council meeting on Oct. 17.  While council members supported the millage, citizens argued against it. The millage, which consists of 1.5 mills for police funding, 1.5 mills for fire operations funding and one mill for other essential expenses such as repairing roads, is expected to raise $7.5 million in extra funding. “We have one of two things that we can do when our budget revenues don’t match our budget expenses,” said City Council President A’Lynne Robinson.  “We can make drastic reductions to our budget, which would include layoffs and cuts to services, or we can find ways to raise revenue.  And this is one way to raise millions of dollars to which everyone across the city can contribute.”

The changes that may occur if the millage does not pass include police officer layoffs and fire station closings.  The city has already closed two fire stations and more are currently in danger.  Council members also said that police and fire response times will drastically increase if the millage is voted down.