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.

To read the rest of this story, you can pick up a copy of the Grand Rapids Business Journal on news stands in the city, or you can follow this link.

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