Kalamazoo City
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Blue Ribbon Revenue Panel

The local government finance model in the State of Michigan is broken. The City cannot operate in a deficit by State law. Reductions in expenses cannot be made again without severely impacting the City’s core services to its residents. The time is right to begin exploring a change in the City of Kalamazoo’s revenue to one that is more reliable, can grow when the City grows, and can provide a sustainable funding source.

On April 6th, the City Commission authorized the City Manager to create a Blue-ribbon Panel of residents, businesses, non-profits, and education stakeholders from the community. The charge of the Panel will be to research, study, and explore revenue options that, when considered together, would address the City’s General Fund structural budget imbalance.  

The activities of the panel are happening concurrently with Priority Based Budgeting, a process in which City expenditures are evaluated in terms of their influence on the most desirable community results. For more information on Priority Based Budgeting, click here.

pdf Final Report, December 28, 2015 (378 KB)

Income Tax Calculators

Income tax calculators have been prepared based on a hypothetical 1% resident (with a property tax reduction), 1/2% non-resident income tax. To see how an income tax proposal may potentially affect you, enter your information in to the appropriate form:




December 7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKnKhecergA 

pdf 12-07-15 Packet (144 KB)

pdf Final Report Draft (89 KB)

pdf Summary of Panel Member Comments (35 KB)

pdf Appendix A: Blue Ribbon Revenue Panel Membership List (72 KB)

pdf Appendix B: Michigan’s Municipal Finance Model (264 KB)

pdf Appendix C: City’s Cost Reduction Efforts (51 KB)

pdf Appendix D: City of Kalamazoo’s Projected Budget Shortfall (384 KB)

pdf Appendix E: Matrix of All Revenue Options (123 KB)

pdf Appendix F: Matrix of Ten Potential Revenue Options (100 KB)

pdf Appendix G: Fact Sheets for Ten Major Revenue Options (103 KB)

November 16https://youtu.be/2h_HDJ99KUE

pdf 11-16-15 Agenda (11 KB)

pdf 11-02-15 Meeting Summary (35 KB)

pdf 11-16-15 Packet (208 KB)

pdf Impact of Income Tax to an Individual or Business (73 KB)

pdf Scorecard Matrix Combined Summary (100 KB)

pdf Preliminary Ranking of Revenue Options (10 KB)

November 2 https://youtu.be/2IkEPad8f2g

pdf 11-2-15 Agenda (11 KB)

pdf 10-19-15 Meeting Summary (39 KB)

pdf Facts About City Income Taxes In Michigan (55 KB)

October 19 https://youtu.be/l5qZJv4_RvE

pdf 10-19-15 Packet (138 KB)

pdf 10-05-15 Meeting Summary (40 KB)

pdf Revenue Options for Further Consideration (Update 10-15-15) (10 KB)

pdf Approach and Timeline (Revised 10-15-15) (15 KB)

October 5 https://youtu.be/6L4yOcWq790

pdf 2015-10-05 Agenda (14 KB)

pdf 2015-09-21 Meeting Summary (39 KB)

September 21 https://youtu.be/iE_AgMiGK30

pdf 2015-09-21 Agenda (15 KB)

pdf 2015-09-21 Approach and Timeline (revised) (15 KB)

pdf 2015-09-21 Revenue Options for Further Consideration (10 KB)

pdf Priority Based Budgeting Presentation (2.66 MB) pdf
(1.11 MB)

Introduction to Priority Based Budgeting (Video)

pdf 2015-08-17 Meeting Summary (36 KB)

August 17 https://youtu.be/P7DnpoiMyCg

2015-08-17 Agenda

2015-08-17 Revenue Panel Mandate

2015-08-17 Revenue Options for Further Consideration

2015-08-17 Criteria for Evaluating Revenue Options

2015-08-17 Approach & Timeline Limited

2015-08-17 Approach & Timeline Extended

2015-08-03 Meeting Summary

August 3 https://youtu.be/Va-mQoXTx2w

2015-08-03 Agenda

2015-08-03 Revenue Panel Presentation

2015-08-03-Q&A v5

2015-07-20 Meeting Summary

2015-07-30 Blueprint Priorities

2015-07-30 BRRP Matrix of Revenue Options (updated)

2015-07-30 Plante Moran Income Tax Study (revised)

July 20 https://youtu.be/hbOalE_vqWE

icon 2015-07-06 Meeting Summary

icon 2015-07-20 Agenda

icon 2015-07-20 Revenue Panel Presentation

icon 2015-07-20 Matrix of Revenue Options

icon 2015-07-20 Plante Moran Study on City Income Tax

icon  2015-07-20 Q&A v4

July 6 https://youtu.be/bZHR8xYWwzI

icon 2015-07-06 Meeting Packet

icon 2015-07-06 Revenue Panel Presentation

icon 2015-07-06 Matrix of Revenue Options 

June 8http://youtu.be/UGrmJ4rgHWY

icon 2015-06-08 Agenda

icon 2015-06-08 Plante Moran Presentation Pt 1

icon 2015-06-08 WE Upjohn Presentation

icon 2015-06-08 Plante Moran Presentation Pt 2

icon 2015-06-08 Q & A

icon 2015-06-08 Matrix of Revenue Options

June 1https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6HeoI_bWDU

icon 2015-06-01 Meeting Summary

icon 2015-06-01 Agenda

icon 2015-06-01 Protocol and Ground Rules

icon 2015-06-01 Overview of Panel's Approach

icon 2015-06-01 Panel Mandate and Scope

icon 2015-06-01 Presentation by Plante Moran

White Papers

pdf Capital Millage (21 KB)

pdf Countywide water sewer authority (21 KB)

pdf Development Infill Sub Committee Report (21 KB)

pdf Headlee Override (21 KB)

pdf Income Tax (29 KB)

pdf Law enforcement millage (21 KB)

pdf PA 33 (21 KB)

pdf Privatizing Parking System (21 KB)

pdf Special Assessments Streets Parks (21 KB)

pdf County Consolidated Dispatch (22 KB)

Reference Documents

Introduction to Priority Based Budgeting (Video)

pdf PM Memo + Kalamazoo County Growth Plan (276 KB)

icon Recurring Reductions 2010-2014

icon Blue Ribbon Panel Agenda Report 

icon Blue Ribbon Panel Membership & Schedule Media Release

icon 2015 Blueprint for Action & 5-year fiscal plan

icon 2015-2016 Priorities Work Plan - Post Retreat Update


The 21-member panel includes 11 City Residents, 4 representatives from the private sector, and 6 members from non-profit and educational institutions. The Panel will be chaired by Sheri Welsh and Vice Chaired by Mattie Jordan-Woods.

City Residents:

  • Linda Teeter (Parkview Hills)
  • Carl Brown (Edison)
  • Chris Praedel (Milwood)
  • Patti Owens (Downtown)
  • Mattie Jordan-Woods, Vice-Chair (Northside)
  • Sheri Welsh, Chair (Milwood)
  • Matt Milcarek (Vine)
  • Andrew Haan (Arcadia)
  • Deborah Gang (Westnedge Hill)
  • Kip Miller (Winchell)
  • Von Washington (Arcadia)

Private Sector:

  • Ron Kitchens (Southwest Michigan First)
  • Tom Huff (Peregrine Realty)
  • Jon Durham (Life Story Network)
  • Jim Escamilla (Byce & Associates)


  • Peggy Gagen (United Way)
  • Mike Larson (United Way)
  • Mike Way (Bronson Hospital)
  • Richard Felbinger (Borgess Hospital)


  • Gary Start (Kalamazoo Public Schools)
  • Dr. Marilyn Schlack (Kalamazoo Valley Community College)
  • Dr. John Dunn (Western Michigan University)