Michigan’s municipal finance model is broken, which has cascading effects on public safety, health services, attracting and retaining talent and quality of life. State policies have seriously limited the ability of cities to address financial realities.
For instance, the state’s property tax limitation policies mean that taxes are reduced during difficult economic times, but do not rebound as quickly when property values increase. Overall state tax cuts have forced reductions in state revenue sharing, which is more than $8 billion below where it would have been had policies in place in the early 2000s been continued.
Meanwhile the role of urban areas in economic development has never been higher. The best paying jobs today are provided by knowledge industry employers, and those employers tend to cluster in cities where young college grads are living. WIthout the resources to provide the amenities those young grads want, Michigan’s cities (and indeed, our overall economy) are falling behind those of other states,
The Michigan Consensus Policy Project has been gathering information from a variety of sources, including academics, think tanks and city officials, to better understand the problem and potential solutions.
- (5/3/2019) Michigan State University Extension - Presentation on Local Government Funding
- (5/3/2019): Michigan Municipal League - Michigan’s Broken Municipal Finance System?
- (12/20/2018): Michigan State University Extension - Local Governments in Michigan: Current Trends and Future Challenges
- (2/22/2018): Citizens Research Council of Michigan: Report – Diversifying Local-Source Revenue Options in Michigan
- (3/29/2017): Citizens Research Council of Michigan: Counties in Michigan: An Exercise in Regional Government
- (1/26/2016): Michigan State University Extension - Legacy Costs Facing Michigan Municipalities
- (3/2014): Michigan Municipal League - The Great Revenue Sharing Heist
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