Posted on: April 14, 2017

Mayor Seibold Speaks at At City Financial Health Forum

Mayor Amna Seibold
The mayors of six of West Michigan’s largest cities addressed some of the key issues they have been facing in light of declining revenue sharing from the state.

Convened by the Michigan Municipal League, Wednesday’s two-hour discussion allowed the mayors of East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Walker and Wyoming to each address the impact of reduced funds coming from the state.

Since 2002, MML estimates that municipalities have lost more than $8.1 billion in dollars from the state.

 “Michigan’s budget priorities have disinvested in communities,” said Tony Minghine, chief executive officer of MML. “Our system does not track with the economy. We haven’t invested in our communities, and the places that are (investing), are kicking our butts.”

 From Michigan’s property taxes to unfunded retiree healthcare to the lack of infrastructure investment, the mayors addressed the challenges they have faced.

“There’s a lot of things that people expect the city to take care of, and we want to – and we want to do it well,” said Amna Seibold, mayor of East Grand Rapids.

“But if they keep taking dollars away from us, we can’t do it well. “We have to figure out this system so that we are able to get the taxes needed to supply the services that cities are supposed to supply – unless we don’t want public safety, unless we don’t want parks, but we do.”
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