Local governments applaud Legislature’s proposed revenue-sharing boost

Capital News Service
LANSING — Proposed increases to Gov. Rick Snyder’s recommended budget for revenue sharing marks a welcome shift for cities, villages, townships and counties, which say they have not seen this part of their funding change for years despite great need for additional money. Despite numerous cuts elsewhere to Snyder’s budget, Republicans in the House and Senate want the numbers for revenue sharing to local governments to be higher. They have proposed increases in the overall revenue-sharing budget of 5 percent and 1 percent, respectively, which has been met with praise from Michigan associations of local government units. The revenue sharing program takes a portion of sales tax revenues collected by the Treasury and distributes those funds to local governments. The sales tax currently stands at 6 percent.

Michigan among states forced to deliver the most with the least

Capital News Service
LANSING– Michigan is one of 18 states required to provide the most state-mandated services with the least state funds, according to a recent national report. Michigan local governments are among the most economically burdened nationwide. Only Georgia and Montana didn’t feel similar budget pinches in 2016, according to the report by the National Association of Counties. “It’s important that people realize this is a problem all over — not just in our state,” said Michael Selden, director of member information services for the Michigan Townships Association. “Citizens want more and more, but local units have less and less.”
It’s hard to pinpoint where the problem began, Selden said.

State encourages local governments to collaborate

By Rachel Jackson
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff writer

Gov. Rick Snyder presented his budget for the 2012 fiscal year on earlier this month, asking the state’s public officials to show what he called the “best practice” in the face of cuts to municipalities and jurisdictions, and encouraged localities to work together to face the brunt of public spending cuts. The governor’s  proposal raised eyebrows over a number of controversial plans, but especially over his proposed cuts regarding revenue sharing, the system of fund allocation for municipalities across the state. Snyder proposed a $100 million cut to the program for the 2012 fiscal year, which would force surrounding municipalities to combine public services to make ends meet. “Unfortunately the cut to revenue sharing will put strain on a number of governments that are already facing insurmountable challenges,” DeWitt Township Manager Rodney Taylor said. “For some of these governments it may be that final straw.”

Taylor said that while he doesn’t agree with some of Snyder’s proposals, he does agree that something has to be done to stabilize Michigan’s economic future, which is why jurisdictions in Clinton County held a regionalism summit in October to discuss the prospect of merging local public services.