Income Tax & Property Tax Reduction

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About the Ballot Proposals
On June 20, 2017, East Lansing City Council approved an ordinance adopting the State of Michigan Uniform City Income Tax Ordinance by reference and approved two resolutions (resolution 1 and resolution 2) to place a proposed income tax and property tax reduction on the November 7, 2017 General Election ballot. 

If the income tax ballot question is approved by voters, East Lansing residents would pay a 1% income tax (some income would be exempt, including retirement income; see FAQ questions 14 & 20) and non-residents would pay a 0.5% income tax. If a resident lives in East Lansing and works in another community with an income tax or works in East Lansing and lives in another community with an income tax, they would pay 0.5% to East Lansing and 0.5% to the community in which they work or live.

If the property tax reduction ballot question is approved by voters, the City Charter would be amended, permanently lowering the City's ability to levy property taxes, not to exceed 13 mills (currently 17.5679 mills and cannot exceed 20 mills) in any year in which an income tax is collected. This will result in a minimum reduction of 4.5679 mills; however, It is Council’s intent to levy less than that and reduce the actual amount levied by 5 mills to 12.5679 mills. The property tax reduction will minimize the impact of the estimated income tax paid by residents and, in some cases (i.e. retirees exempt from the income tax), decrease the overall amount of taxes paid. 

Why An Income Tax Was Proposed by Council

The City of East Lansing is facing significant, long-term budget challenges despite many steps taken over the years to cut costs. Learn more about the City’s financial challenges.

Taxpayer Impact for Residents

The Taxpayer Impact Calculator and Taxpayer Impact Charts (click on graphic below) will help residents get an idea of the impact the two ballot proposals would have on their taxes if passed. 

Residents can find the taxable value of their home here (click on search municipalities, find the City of East Lansing and click on property and land search) or on their tax bill. Residents can learn more about exemptions here. There will be $600 deductions for qualifying exemptions, such as personal and dependency exemptions. 

Taxpayer Impact Example

View a Taxpayer Impact Example that uses East Lansing's average gross household income ($67,926) and average taxable value for improved residential parcels (i.e. parcels with a dwelling) in 2017 ($83,500).

Sample Ballots

View the sample ballots for the November 7, 2017 General Election.

Community Presentations

Over the past few months, East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas has gone out into the East Lansing community to provide several community presentations on the Income Tax & Property Tax Reduction Ballot Proposals. If you were unable to attend a presentation or get your questions answered, please contact the City Manager's Office at (517) 319-6920 or