Gov. Snyder discusses Flint's public safety cuts - WNEM TV 5

Gov. Snyder discusses Flint's public safety cuts

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With drastic cuts to public safety looming in Flint, residents are on edge and want to know if anything can be done to stop nearly 50 police and fire personnel from being laid off. 

In a one-on-one interview, TV5 asked the governor what, if anything, can be done to stop the cuts from happening. 

It's consistently ranked one of the most dangerous cities in America and it's also in financial distress.

"We've made a major commitment to put additional resources and any way we can help," Gov. Rick Snyder said.

He said drastic cuts to public safety is one of the challenges the city faces.

"We want to see Flint get back on its own feet," Snyder said.

Snyder defended a budget laid out by state-appointed emergency financial manager Darnell Earley, one that cuts 36 police officers and 19 firefighters from a city considered one of the most dangerous in the country.

Flint city officials have been outspoken against those cuts, some even accusing Earley and the governor of ignoring obvious alternatives like raising the local income tax.

Currently the city of Flint generates about $14 million in revenue from income tax. If it could get approval to raise its tax rate to the same level of Saginaw, that, according to Mayor Dayne Walling, would generate an additional $7 million per year.

"I view that as a question for the citizens of Flint. That's local democracy," Snyder said.

Although the city would need permission from the state to make any changes to the local income tax, when asked about whether or not he supports the idea, the governor said it was an issue Flint residents needed to address before he weighs in.

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