Citing the rising cost of services and revenue limitations contributing to a structural deficit, the city of Wyoming is again exploring adopting an income tax.
In September, the city contracted Eaton Rapids-based Great Lakes Economic Consulting LLC to do a $15,000 feasibility study on the costs and benefits of enacting a personal income tax.
The report was finished in October and presented to the city commission during its Dec. 4 meeting.
This isn’t the first time Wyoming has considered such a measure.
In 2009, during the peak of the Great Recession, the city council discussed the idea. Ultimately, leaders decided in favor of belt-tightening measures, such as restructuring personnel, consolidating services and passing, then renewing a public safety millage.
Other expense reductions and cost-saving measures the city has implemented over the past decade:
- Moved public safety dispatch operations to Kent County
- Closed city hall on Fridays and shifted most employees to a four-day work week
- Made significant contract changes, including changes to health insurance
- Closed the defined benefit pension and health plans, shifting to defined contributions
- Reduced personnel
- Retired bonds early
City Manager Curtis Holt said the city is running out of options for creating a sustainable revenue base, with falling property values, state revenue-sharing losses, rising costs of wages and benefits for personnel, and increased demand for services such as police and fire.
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