Lansing says state budget isn't enough

Posted at 8:15 AM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 08:15:59-05

Governor Rick Snyder says his new budget is helping local governments.

"Investing in our communities - constitutional revenue sharing, we're seeing a significant increase there of 3.9 percent," Governor Snyder said. "We're going to continue the traditional statutory revenue sharing."

But Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says that's not the whole story.

"Well, there won't really be that much more money," Bernero said. "It might look like there is, but, in reality, with gas prices plummeting, the money that we get from the state in sales tax is way down." He says since the money coming in from an increase in overall sales roughly matches the decrease in gas tax revenue, it's basically a wash.

"Don't get excited," Bernero said. "Don't spend it all in one place because there's no money."

There are two types of revenue sharing. One is a constant percentage of state sales tax, the other is a fund the state can add to and subtract from. Chris Hackbarth of the Michigan Municipal League says, as the economy has gotten better, the state should be giving more.

"You'd hope you would see some good, hard, impactful benefits showing up," Hackbarth said.

The budget isn't finalized, and Bernero says he hopes some of the state's surplus will come Lansing's way. He says the city would spend the money to fix roads and old plows, and buy new police cars.

"Because we're in tough times, a lot of that was put off as much as possible," Bernero said. "But it gets to a point where you're throwing good money after bad with these old vehicles."

Bernero says the city will also need extra money to pay for body cameras for police.