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East Lansing residents to vote on city income tax

Nov 3, 2017

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7, and voters in East Lansing will decide whether to add a citywide income tax.

The main goal is to pay down about $200 million in long-term debt mainly stemming from legacy costs, which include employee retirement benefits.

Michigan State University has lobbied against the ballot proposal in East Lansing. A group of university students, business owners and income tax critics also oppose it. 

Only about a third of all states in the U.S., plus the District of Columbia, allow local income taxes.

According to the state Department of Treasury, 22 Michigan communities charged a local income tax last year, including Battle Creek, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Pontiac. Ann Arbor is considering one.

East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows​, and Nicole Kaeding​, an economist at the Center for State Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation joined Michigan Radio's "Morning Edition" host Doug Tribou to discuss the East Lansing proposal and the pros and cons of local income taxes.