Flint EFM: City still under financial emergency

Flint's emergency financial manager says he's moving full steam ahead to try and put the city back on sounder footing.

Ed Kurtz says the city is barely hanging on with a balanced budget, and they haven't even tackled the $19 million deficit yet. Kurtz says property values will likely continue to drop 25 percent in the next two to four years. On top of that, about 70 percent of every city revenue dollar goes to pension and retiree health care costs. But Kurtz says it isn't a hopeless situation, but everyone is going to have to pitch in to dig the city out of financial straits.

Kurtz says the city could be raising the income tax on Flint residents from 1 percent to 1.5 percent, and from half a percent to three-quarters of a percent for all non-residents who work in the city.

"This city going forward has got to generate more revenue,â?? Kurtz said. â??There simply aren't any options. I haven't gone back and looked, but my best guess is the city probably has $20 million a year less revenue than they have when I was here eight years ago."

Kurtz also had some good news about reducing blight in the city. The city will use $2.3 million in neighborhood stabilization and community block grant dollars to demolish abandoned and condemned properties. Demolition is expected to start in about three weeks.