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Lansing is facing 'painful' cuts

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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“Painful” cuts to Lansing’s city budget are being predicted by the man heading a task force studying the capitol city’s budget problems.

David Hollister leads the mayor’s Financial Health team. He appeared before the Lansing City Council last night to update them on his committee’s work.

Hollister didn’t mince words telling the council that “painful” choices will have to be made to eliminate a projected nine million dollar budget shortfall next year.

Hollister says Lansing’s basic problem is the revenue system which has trapped the city with declining property tax revenues.

“They’ve sold fire stations. They’ve sold golf courses. They’ve laid off 30 percent of their staff,” says Hollister, referring to the deep spending cuts they city of Lansing has made during the past decade, “And they still got a deficit.”  

Hollister says that shows the current revenue system “is broken.”

Hollister says the only way to help Lansing, and other struggling Michigan cities, is for the state legislature to change the way local governments are funded.

But that’s unlikely to happen before Lansing’s mayor delivers his proposed city budget next month.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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