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News & Press: FOCUS

Poll: East Lansing Income Tax Proposal Lacking Support

Sunday, October 1, 2017  
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Eighty-Five Percent of Chamber Members Oppose the Idea

A poll of 400 voters in the City of East Lansing shows a very low level of support for a measure on the November ballot calling for a new city income tax. The poll, conducted by Denno Research and commissioned by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC), shows just 41 percent of East Lansing voters are in favor of the income tax proposal, while 32 percent of voters are opposed. Those numbers strongly suggest the income tax plan has very little prospect of being approved.

“Historically, we know that proposals like this should have at least 50 percent support at this stage to have a chance to gain voter approval,” said Dennis Denno, President of Denno Research. “Especially when one considers that only 10 percent of East Lansing voters strongly support the income tax, you have to conclude the ballot proposal faces serious challenges.”

In an August 14th letter, LRCC urged the city to remove the income tax proposal from the November ballot and instead undertake negotiations with Michigan State University for financial support in lieu of the income tax. East Lansing City Council decided to keep the measure on the ballot.

A previous survey conducted by the Chamber showed that 72 percent of members believe the city income tax is not necessary and 85 percent of those members oppose the new tax.

Joe Ford, co-owner of Netvantage Marketing in East Lansing, said the proposal will be a major hindrance to the city’s ability to recruit and retain top talent for companies of all sizes, including small entrepreneurial firms.

“There are many small businesses that call East Lansing home and hopefully many more will be started and developed,” said Ford. “However, imposing this income tax would add another burden for employers and is not conducive to a strong, thriving business climate.”

Click here to download the October issue of FOCUS.

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