State groups dispute how downtowns spend special millages

LANSING– A dispute between the state groups representing counties and downtowns has erupted over the way tax money is spent. Michigan Association of County officials say some special millage tax dollars that could be spent on senior citizens, veterans and other causes get diverted into a popular tax strategy for helping downtowns. A five-bill package was recently introduced in the House of Representatives to improve the oversight and transparency of groups capturing this tax revenue. Cosponsors are Reps. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering; Lana Theis,R- Brighton; Amanda Price; R-Park Township; Pat Somerville R-New Boston; and David Mature, R- Vicksburg.

Number of cops, crimes down statewide in 2014

Capital News Service
LANSING — The number of police officers in Michigan shrank by 15.4 percent between 2001 and 2014, according to a recently released report by the House Fiscal Agency. Yet despite that drop, crime in Michigan fell by roughly 34 percent during the same period, according to the  State Police. These simultaneous declines are surprising, some in Michigan’s law enforcement community said. “It kind’ve flies in the face of conventional wisdom from 15 years ago,” said Robert Buursma, a captain in the Holland Police Department. The drop is not as dramatic as it appears in light of Michigan’s shrinking population.