Lansing's Deficit Not as Bad as Originally Announced

Putting together Lansing's FY 2014 budget is a moving target and in this case, it moved in the right direction. Mayor Bernero says the projected budget gap is much smaller because of a $2 million revenue increase from property taxes and healthcare savings worth another $2 million. City employees will get some relief from this budget.

"This budget includes no layoffs and no furlough days for our employees. I'm pleased with that because our employees have suffered, our employees have sacrificed," said Mayor Bernero.

The mayor wants to invest more into road and sidewalk repair and public safety and he's following suggestions of the financial health team to spend more on IT, prefunding retiree healthcare and increasing the rainy day fund.

"Those are things we can do that will take discipline to do and council approval to get done," said Mayor Bernero.

Council members have some of their own ideas on how to rake in more money for the city. 

"That's anywhere from performing services that we might sell outside the city, whether that's other municipalities, whether that's doing some of their repairs in our garage," said Lansing City Council President Carol Wood.

The city may just have to get creative. After all, the new projected deficit is still $5 million. For now, Mayor Bernero is not revealing much about how he balanced the budget, but says citizens may see some fee increases and parking downtown could soon cost a little more. 

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero announced Monday the city's deficit is $5 million, a little more than half the $9 million figure the Mayor's office and financial health team had been using for two months. The Mayor announced an $11 million deficit in October of 2012. It was revised to $9 million in late January and to $5 million Monday. The reason for the latest revision is property tax revenue is up $2 million and the city saved $2 million on health care costs. 

 

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