A group that represents Michigan cities and townships says state policies have hurt local governments. In a report released Wednesday, the Michigan Municipal League says statewide laws and practices make it hard for even prudently managed governments to manage.
The League says a big drop in state revenue sharing created part of the problem, with property tax caps and the state’s emergency management policies also playing a role.
Without changes, MML Associate Executive Director Tony Minghine says the state could see more cities tip into crisis.
“We have a tax system that was built for a different time, a different economy, and it doesn’t work. It just simply doesn’t work,” he says.
Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleury says a lack of funding leaves communities like hers facing untenable service cuts.
“I should not have to ask my elected officials to choose between a fire station and a police station when both are needed,” she says.
The League says it plans to propose a set of state-level policies it says would work better for local governments.