Feb. 10 2010 12:00 AM

An aggregator of Lansing government happenings


Lansing Finance Director Jerry Ambrose gave Lansing City Council a report Monday on the first half of the 2010 fiscal year, which covered July through December.

The report paints a familiar picture of lower revenues in the areas of property and income taxes, state shared revenue, fees, fines and interest on investments. On average over the past three years, the city has collected 51 percent of its projected revenue by now, but so far this fiscal year it’s at 48 percent. The administration put forth a deficit elimination plan in December to take care of a $3 million budget hole, and recently amended that plan to include a $55,000 golf fund deficit from the last fiscal year — but Ambrose warned in his report that further deficit elimination plans may be necessary.

Ambrose said that there is “always the potential” to have more deficit elimination plans, but that right now close attention is being paid to income tax revenues because income in that area can be hard to project.

Also on Monday, the Council passed three tax incentive plans for 1118 S. Washington Ave., a REO Town building slated to be converted into lofts and retail space. A Brownfield redevelopment plan was approved; however, it will not capture taxes, as is usually the case, but will be used by developer Tom Arnold to apply for Michigan business tax credits. The Council also approved an obsolete property rehabilitation district determination for the property and Arnold’s application for an OPRA certificate; an OPRA freezes taxable value on a dilapidated property for 12 years so that a developer can make improvements and not be taxed on them.

The three incentives received only partial support of the Council — First Ward Councilman Eric Hewitt voted “no” on all three.