jim ritsema

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The City of Kalamazoo says an income tax would generate enough revenue to close a growing budget gap. Commissioners are weighing whether to propose such a tax, which would have to be approved by voters before the city could levy it.

Kalamazoo’s budget shortfall is projected to come in at under $2 million next year. But by 2021, it’s expected to rise to more than $5 million.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Though the budget the City of Kalamazoo approved Tuesday avoids major cuts to services, it does increase the tax that pays for bulk trash and recycling while cutting the number of bulk trash pickups. And city staff and commissioners say Kalamazoo faces a widening “structural deficit” in its general fund going forward.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo’s 2016 budget tops the agenda at tonight’s city commission meeting. Despite a general-fund gap of more than two million dollars, the city says it has managed to avoid patching the hole with service cuts. But the city does plan to raise the tax that pays for bulk trash and recycling, and reduce bulk trash pickup.


The City of Kalamazoo is making a special effort to interest people in next year’s city budget.

Those discussions usually don’t draw crowds to city hall. But Kalamazoo expects its 2016 budget to fall about three million dollars short. And it says it needs to hear from people on which services they value most.

One place the city plans to collect input is on a newly launched website, ImagineKalamazoo.com.

Commissioners also evaluated the City Attorney, Clerk and Auditor