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City Council reviews $11.6M proposed budget

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:19 PM

City Manager Pat McGinnis and City Council joined city department leaders to discuss the ins and outs of what was coming for the new budget year. McGinnis fielded questions and provided answers to questions from City Council regarding the budget, which calls for general fund expenses of just over $11.6 million.

One point of concern brought up by Councilman Bob Monetza centered on how the repeal of Michigan’s personal property tax would impact the city’s budget. He’s concerned that if the personal property tax is repealed, it might result in cuts if funding from the tax revenue isn’t replaced.

State lawmakers have passed legislation to roll back the tax and Michigan voters will decide in August whether to sign off on the law.

If approved by voters, the law would create an “essential services assessment” paid by businesses to support local public safety. It also adjusts Michigan’s 6 percent use tax to send more money from the state to local governments.

City Finance Director Jim Bonamy said it remains to be seen what the impact on the budget would be if the personal property tax is repealed.

“At this point, it is hard to say what is going to happen, let alone what will happen if it passes,” he said.

Bonamy said he hasn’t crunched numbers on how a repeal would impact the city’s budget. He noted it would be easier once they had final legislation in hand.

“I believe that it is a 5- to-6-year process before personal property taxes completely goes away,” Bonamy said.

Other concerns regarding the city’s budget centered on the condition of some of the city’s facilities.

“A lot of our buildings are looking really, really bad,” Councilman Mike Fritz said. “I think we should do some preventative maintenance so that it looks better in the long run.”

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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