Towards Fiscally Healthy Michigan Local Governments
The state of Michigan has long incubated financial stress among its localities. Though not the state’s intention, limits on local governments’ ability to raise revenues, coupled with reduced state aid, have decimated local budgets. Additionally, local government fragmentation often breeds inefficiencies, further exacerbating local fiscal distress throughout Michigan.
This report offers several recommendations related to each of the aforementioned challenges. The most politically feasible approach is to couple one or two recommendations that increase local revenues with one recommendation that addresses local government fragmentation (which ultimately gets at cost savings). State officials must remember that local governments provide the services and infrastructure on which residents and businesses rely; implementing policies that make it easier for local governments to do their job ultimately benefits the state of Michigan as a whole and the people and businesses that comprise it.
This report was made possible by a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.