Houghton pays part of city debt, still owes $1,400

LANSING, MI – Lansing city councilmember-elect Tina Houghton has paid at least part of her back taxes owed to the city. The payment represents a little more than half for the $3,300 she needs to repay before taking office.

Ingham County records show that earlier this week Houghton paid her $1,700 2008 taxes. She still owes the city $1,400 for this year's summer taxes. Winter tax bills will be mailed December 1st.

Earlier this month, Houghton beat veteran councilmember Sandy Allen to represent the city's second ward. Under the city charter, Houghton won't be able to take office unless her debt to the city is paid.

The issue has also raised questions about Houghton's service on the city's Parks and Recreation board. She was appointed to the board by Mayor Bernero in 2007. Tax records show she has been in default on her city taxes since 2006. Her Coulson Court property was also in forfeiture for unpaid 2004 taxes.

Tina Houghton did not return calls seeking comment on this story.