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Politics & Government

Public safety and road millage renewal on Lansing's November ballot

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Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero asks the city council to approve putting a millage renewal on the November ballot.

Lansing residents will decide in November if they want to renew a public safety and road millage.

The Lansing City Council approved putting the millage renewal on the ballot Monday. 

The millage raises nearly $8 million annually and costs the average Lansing homeowner about $200 a year.

Back in 2011, Lansing voters narrowly approved a millage increase to pay for police and fire, as well as road improvements. Voters had rejected it six months before.

The millage was intended to fill part of the financial shortfall the city was suffering following the Great Recession.

Mayor Virg Bernero says the millage prevented dozens of police and fire layoffs. He says the stakes remain just as high if the millage is not renewed in November.

“Even though our financial condition continues to improve, property tax revenues are still today below what they were prior to the millage,” Bernero told the Lansing City Council during a special council meeting, “So the millage is still necessary to fill that gap.”

Bernero says the effect of losing millions of dollars from the millage would be “devastating.”

Still, some city council members are concerned Lansing residents may not know the importance of the millage.

Third Ward councilman Adam Hussain says he knows that school liaison officers and community service officers are among those who would have been laid off without the millage money. 

“What are we doing to push that information to individuals?“ says Hussain, who believes the city could be doing a better job of explaining that to city residents.

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