Pontiac braces for tax hikes, service cuts

Aug 18, 2011

Pontiac residents could soon pay more for fewer service as the city tackles a projected $12 million deficit. 

Emergency manager Michael Stampfler's plan would  add more than $6 million  to Pontiac’s tax rolls.

Leon Jukowski is Pontiac’s mayor. He no longer has power, but says he monitors the actions of the emergency manager.

“These are some pretty significant obligations: $4.6 million for the pension and VEBA contributions, Jukowski says. "$1 million tax appeal for General Motors. So this could be a significant tax increase.”

The emergency manager is also calling for $9 million dollars in budget cuts – which could mean the layoffs of 10 deputy sheriffs and a reduction in fire services.

The Pontiac Police Department was absorbed into the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department in July. Jukowski says the level of staffing -- even with the cutbacks -- will still be better than when there were only 40 officers to cover the entire city.

"Instead of us having 72, and having to have 15 or so of them in administrative functions, we really have 72 on the road," Jukowski says. "So you’re going to still see more sheriff’s deputies on the street than we had Pontiac police officers. But like everything else, it’s going to be a little bit less than we’d like to have.”

The plan also calls for a reduction in fire services.