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Community Advocacy Organization

Lansing Announces Sale of $175 Million of General Obligation Bonds to Fund Public Safety Complex

Bond Ratings improve, saving taxpayers money

Graphic by The Chronicle News

The City of Lansing announced the successful sale of $175 million of General Obligation Unlimited Tax Bonds to fund the development of its new Public Safety campus that will house the headquarters of the Lansing Police Department, Lansing Fire Department, 54-A District Court, temporary lock-up jail facility, a new fire station, and fire training area. Improvements to several existing facilities will also be made. Last November, voters approved the borrowing, then estimated at 3.9 mills for Lansing property owners. The administration’s advocacy highlighting the improved financial strength of the City resulted in a recent update to the City’s bond ratings. As a result, pricing of the bonds improved, reducing the necessary levy to 3.5 mills, saving taxpayers’ money over the life of the bonds. Mayor Andy Schor recently met with two bond rating agencies and has announced that Standard & Poors (S&P) Global Ratings and the Kroll Bond Rating Agency issued the following bond ratings for the City: “A+” (Stable Outlook) from S&P Global Ratings and “AA-” (Stable Outlook) from Kroll Bond Rating Agency. “Lansing is on the right track and our financial future is bright. By working with our financial team of advisors and experts, we have improved our ratings outlook, which is great news for our overall fiscal health,” Mayor Schor said. “I will keep working to ensure we remain on a strong fiscal footing that guarantees our financial future remains strong.” According to data from the Lansing City Assessor’s office this lower levy would save the average Lansing homeowner about 10 percent of the initial estimated cost over the course of the bond repayment. Last year, when the bond was proposed, it was estimated that the average Lansing home would be assessed approximately $153 per year based on 2022 tax rates. With the new and improved rate of 3.5 mills, the amount is now estimated at $147 per year for the average home, based on the current average taxable value of residential property in 2023. This is due to a 2023 taxable value increase of about 7% for residential property overall. Mayor Schor also thanked the City’s Finance Director, Desiree Kirkland, and Deputy Mayor, Shelbi Frayer, for leading the City’s financial advisors and managers, including Brian Lefler, Managing Director of Public Finance at RW Baird, Jarrod Smith at the Dykema Law Firm, and the team at Ramirez & Co. for putting together and finalizing this plan.

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