Michigan Municipal League

Guest commentary: New revenue-sharing model shortchanges and infuriates municipalities

By David Lossing/Michigan Municipal League The Economic Vitality Incentive Program, a.k.a. EVIP, has been around for a couple of years now. EVIP is a program created by the state in 2011 to eliminate statutory revenue sharing and replace it with an “incentive” […]

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Local governments’ fiscal distress worsened by state’s actions

I am concerned about what seems to be a significant decline in the fiscal health of local governments in Michigan. That decline is due in part to the 1990s recession and plummeting property values – the effects of which are exacerbated by […]

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Stressed cities hear little sympathy from State Capitol

Michigan cities expecting a helping hand from Lansing as they dig out of years of fiscal turmoil might want to look elsewhere. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder stated as much last month at a Michigan Municipal League conference, when he said, “We all […]

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Tax shift adds to fiscal woes at city hall

After years of political wrangling over the issue, business advocates hail the phase-out of Michigan’s tax on industrial machinery and business equipment as a welcome tonic for job growth. Public officials in places like River Rouge and Warren are not so sanguine. […]

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Land O Links

* The Mackinac Center created a searchable database of public school superintendent compensation – a potentially useful tool for parents and patrons to compare their local leader to other districts. Of course, the unanswered question in all this is: How much should a […]

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Snyder tries again on cut for business equipment tax

In the final weeks of the legislative year, the Snyder administration is pressing ahead with a plan to cut a tax on business equipment by attempting to appease two groups: local governments that count on that money to pay for services, and […]

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For the Legislature, an active and speedy ‘duck,’ followed by a cautious 2013

The smoke is still clearing from the statewide legislative elections, but Michigan residents should not be surprised if Lansing provides a two-pronged response to the voter’s will: First: A flurry of activity on legislation in the “lame-duck” sessions of the Legislature scheduled […]

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In some cities, it’s cash that’s burning

In Michigan, your home address says everything about how much you spend for fire protection. In Midland, a city of 41,000, residents paid $155 per person in 2010 for their Fire Department. But in Wyoming, a West Michigan city of about 72,000, […]

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Negotiating with ‘heroes’ no simple matter

In 2009, Ann Arbor became the poster child for critics of Michigan’s public safety binding arbitration law, as a labor settlement cost the city $1.5 million in retroactive pay raises. The judgment came as police and fire departments consumed 55 percent ofAnn […]

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Will personal property tax tug-of-war drag cities into the mud?

Legislation that would phase out Michigan’s personal property tax — essentially a business equipment levy — on industrial and commercial property is working its way through the Michigan Senate. The repeal is strongly backed by business groups such as the Michigan Chamber […]

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Snyder pushes end to personal tax on business

Steve Carlson considered buying a couple of new machines for his plastic molding business near Lansing, but he and the company’s other owners decided to hold off for now. One reason, he said, is Michigan’s personal property tax on the new equipment […]

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Business, Republican leaders express confidence in personal property tax repeal

In the looming battle over Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed personal property tax repeal, both sides agree on one thing: It’s a tax neither particularly likes. “This is an investment penalty,” said Lt. Governor Brian Calley before a Senate committee Wednesday. “The more […]

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Land O Links

“The old believe everything; the middle aged suspect everything, the young know everything” — Oscar Wilde. * It’s March Madness, so everyone’s trying to figure out how to use the temporary obsession with brackets to convey interesting or amusing information. WARNING: At […]

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Rust and the rest: Reinventing cities

When Chattanooga made the national news one evening in 1969, it wasn’t for a good reason. Air pollution had won the Tennessee industrial center the federal designation of being the dirtiest city in America. It was “a real wakeup call,” said Mayor […]

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Urban chief outlines new normal for cities

Harvey Hollins III is the director of the Michigan Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives and is a principal adviser to Gov. Rick Snyder on urban economic development. He is a loaned executive through the Council of Michigan Foundations, and his salary […]

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Reactions to Snyder budget coming in

Reactions to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2013 budget proposal are coming in. Below are some notable excerpts: State Board of Education President John Austin, D-Ann Arbor: “While Governor Snyder’s budget proposal begins to reverse decimating cuts to pre-K, K-12, and higher education; more […]

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Perks are the point in ‘amenity-driven’ growth

When Dawn Barry and her husband, Mark, decided to sell their townhouse and buy a house eight years ago, they had a few criteria common to couples in their early 30s. It had to be affordable on their teacher salaries, located in […]

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Deja vu: Biz tax cuts head agenda in Lansing

“At the end of the day, we’ll be a stronger, more vibrant state,” Gov. Rick Snyder asserted a year ago in his first State of the State speech that offered the first outlines of his 2011 legislative agenda. But he didn’t say […]

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