Lansing council votes on budget tonight


A budget vote looms at tonight's Lansing City Council meeting, with the council considering a couple of changes to the $109 million spending plan proposed by Mayor Virg Bernero.

Bernero's proposal would save $12 million with a combination of early retirement incentives, shorter work weeks, concessions from police officers and fire fighters, and other cuts.

Two measures not in the mayor's plan are being proposed. One would hike property taxes by .4 mills. The other would have city workers take 13 furlough days.

Bernero says he can't support a tax increase at this time and would veto the tax hike.

"If you compare Lansing to our immediate surrounding neighbors, we don't suffer from low taxes, so it's not as though we can say 'well, now's the time for us to catch up with our competition'. No. We're there," he says.

Overriding a mayoral veto would require six votes. The tax hike plan was okayed on a vote of 5-2 last week by the council's committee of the whole.

A final budget vote will be held next Monday. Tonight's Lansing city council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at city hall.