Is the State Failing to Support Local Governments?
Some say gap in support is growing
Local governments across southeast Michigan are reporting a slow recovery from the recession of 2009. A recent survey by the University of Michigan shows rural communities having an easier time with financial stability. In Metro Detroit, local government officials say two state constitutional limits on property tax revenue, the Headlee amendment, and Proposal A, combined with less state financial support are crushing the municipalities ability to raise more revenue. Oak Park City Manager Erik Tungate says his city lost nearly 50% of its tax revenue during the recession.
“This year we’re looking at just over a percent capture back, so if you look at what we lost, we lost almost 50% of our total tax revenue, so if you do 1%, well in 40 years we should be all set. But the reality is that we’re not seeing the kind of assistance from the state government that we would like to see. And we’re not alone” -Erik Tungate
Tungate says, like other cities, Oak Park has cut the number of municipal employees, found more efficiencies in government, and asked voters to help fund specific liabilities such as employee pensions.
Click on the audio link above to hear the entire conversation with WDET’s Amy Miller