With the city in financial distress Flint's mayor now wants to ask taxpayers to fork out more money.
Emergency Manager Darnel Earleyâ??s new budget proposal calls for cutting 55 police officers and fire fighters, in order to balance the budget. But Mayor Dayne Walling says he's determined to find a solution, including one idea that would ask those who work and live in the city to pay more in taxes.
"We could take that issue to the voters, and see if voters support a local income tax,â?? said Dayne Walling, Flint Mayor.
Walling says the city needs to find sources of revenue to help the city get back on solid financial ground.
"I really don't think that the city at this time is offering enough benefits to warrant an increase in taxes,â?? said Jack Mercer, Flint.
For those who will be feeling the impact, there's both push back and support.
"Sometimes if we all pitch in, we can get some improvement and that's what we really are after,â?? said Bill Withem, Flint.
â??I do not believe in my heart that we should raise income taxes on the people,â?? said Wantwaz Davis, Flint Councilman.
Councilman Davis thinks this will only drive people out of the city. He wants to see a focus on increasing jobs.
"We need people off the streets and we need people in the workforce,â?? said Davisl.
As the Mayor is asking for more from the people, the new budget proposal from Emergency Manager Darnell Earley would raise the mayor's pay from $55,000 to $82,500. It also gives council a pay increase from $7,000 to $10,500.
I asked Mayor Walling if he would give up that raise.
â??I've given up a tremendous amount during this process and I'm going to continue to do that going forward,â?? said Walling.
"If I have to lose every dime that I got in order for them to get the service that they need, I'm for that,â?? said Davis.
Increasing the local option income tax is not something the mayor, or even the city can do alone. Mayor Walling said before going on the ballot it would need approval from the state.