Lansing city councilwoman-elect owes back taxes

Lansing, MI –
A newly elected Lansing city councilmember may not be able to take office unless she pays delinquent property taxes.

Tina Houghton was elected last week to serve as the city's Second Ward councilmember. But she owes more than $3,600 in property taxes to the city. The Lansing city charter says anyone owing the city money cannot hold public office. Houghton says she will pay off the debt before being sworn-in on January 1.

City Clerk Chris Swope says if Houghton doesn't pay by the first of the year, the council will have to appoint someone to fill the seat until a special election can be held. Houghton beat long-time incumbent Sandy Allen in last week's election.