EFM Ed Kurtz: Flint still in financial emergency - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

EFM Ed Kurtz: Flint still in financial emergency

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(09/13/12) - The money troubles continue in the city of Flint. That's according to the man charged with watching over the city's pocketbook - Emergency Financial Manger Ed Kurtz.

At his first media briefing Thursday, Kurtz addressed the city's current state and made some future projections. He says Flint is hanging on, even with a balanced budget, but they've cut all they can. The next step is to go to the taxpayers.

"If we do nothing, the outcome would be catastrophic. Our next look is increasing taxes," Kurtz said.

If you work and live in the city of Flint, your taxes would increase by a half of a percent. Up from 1 percent to 1.5 percent.

For non-city residents, your taxes would increase from a half of one percent to three quarters of a percent. To do something like this, the city needs legislative approval and a vote by the people.

Kurtz says another four years of declining revenues are projected and thinks perhaps the state needs to look at a different way to finance municipalities.

The city still has to address a previous deficit of $19 million, retiree healthcare and pension costs.

Even with all of its challenges, Kurtz still believes there's opportunity to recover. "This city going forward has got to create more revenue. There's simply no other options. My best guess is the city has $20 million a year less revenue then they had when I was here eight years ago. It's not hopeless, we do get depressed talking about it, but it's salvageable."

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