I’ve read through this extensive piece put out by Robert Kleine, Interim Director and Mary Schulz, Associate Director Center for Local Government Finance and Policy Michigan State University Extension, and found it very informative given the financial situation East Lansing is in.
It addresses why cities like EL, that seem like truly vibrant communities in every way, have revenues far behind other communities. It specifically states how cities with per capita taxable value below $20,000 will struggle financially (East Lansing is $19,461).
It speaks to how Michigan places more revenue-raising restrictions on cities than almost any other state.
Our population is estimated at 48,844, with many others using our City services and infrastructure every day. Bottom line is we have more people than tax dollars to provide adequate services for our community, thus the income tax being on the ballot.