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Lansing Considers Options For Pension, Health Care Debt

city seal with flags
WKAR File Photo
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The Lansing Financial Health Team will recommend a number of changes for the city's legacy cost program by the end of June.

The city of Lansing continues to struggle under mounting debt obligations to its retirees.  Now, an outside review is shedding light on the numbers.

The draft report from Segal Consulting shows Lansing faces $675 million in pension and retiree health care liability.

The city says shrinking state revenue sharing payments, falling property tax collection and statutory caps on municipal revenue generation have contributed to the shortfall.

Lansing Finance Director Angela Bennett says the good news is that the bill won't come due tomorrow.

"The study is trying to get ahead of that," says Bennett.  "It's trying to be proactive to say, let's address this now as opposed to waiting 15 years and then we're in crisis mode."

The Lansing Financial Health Team is expected to present its recommendations to the city by the end of June.  Any such guidance won't come in time to influence Lansing's FY 2018 budget, which may be approved by the city council as soon as Monday.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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