EAST LANSING, Mich. — Since being appointed by the East Lansing City Council this past February, the Financial Health Review Team has held several public meetings to discuss the City of East Lansing’s financial challenges and consider new revenue and expenditure options.
In addition to the ongoing full team meetings, six work groups - consisting of two to six members of the team - have been formed and continue to meet regularly. All meetings of the Financial Health Review Team are open to the public and a calendar is available at www.cityofeastlansing.com/FinancialHealthReviewTeam.
While the team has been charged with looking at a number of items, the first priority has been to look at the City’s unfunded liabilities for legacy costs (pension and other post-employment benefits). The team is expected to provide a report and recommendations on this topic to Council this summer.
Citizen Engagement Meetings
The Financial Health Review Team is inviting community members to attend two upcoming Citizen Engagement Meetings. The meetings will take place on Wednesday, June 15 and Wednesday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 211 of the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road. The first meeting on June 15 will mainly consist of presentations by City staff (with emphasis on the legacy cost topic) and brief comments from members of the team. The second meeting on June 29 will serve as a forum for community members to share their ideas and feedback. Community members can also share feedback via a form on the Financial Health Review Team webpage, www.cityofeastlansing.com/FinancialHealthReviewTeam, and via a topic posted on e-Town Hall: www.cityofeastlansing.com/etownhall.
Income Tax Study
While the Financial Health Review Team is and will be looking at several new revenue options to address the City’s financial challenges, one option the team is currently looking at is the possibility of an income tax. The team is requesting an Income Tax Study from Plante Moran, which will look at the amount of revenue that would be generated if an income tax were to be implemented in the City of East Lansing. This study is expected to take approximately eight weeks to be developed and will be used by the team in its deliberations regarding possible new revenue options.
“The team is diligently working and exploring options,” said Financial Health Review Team Chairperson Mike Moquin. “As part of our ongoing work, we will continue to gather and review data and community feedback – taking all things into consideration as we develop our final recommendations for the East Lansing City Council.”
The Financial Health Review Team’s work is expected to conclude by the end of the year, with final recommendations made to the East Lansing City Council by December 2016. Community members can learn more at www.cityofeastlansing.com/FinancialHealthReviewTeam.