Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15. 2013
Final 2014 State Budget Agreement Starts Process of Restoring Massive Cuts to Local Revenue Sharing
LANSING, Michigan – In the past decade, Lansing has slashed nearly $6 billion from local police and fire protection, local road and bridge maintenance, and other essential local services. The Legislature and governor must invest part of the expected state budget surplus to restore those massive cuts that the Legislature has made to local revenue sharing, the Michigan Municipal League said today.
“Over the past dozen years, the Legislature and governor have cut local revenue sharing by nearly $6 billion, breaking promise after promise and ignoring statutes that require the appropriations to local communities,” said Daniel Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Instead of appropriating the funds for local services, Lansing used the funds to fill holes in the state budget, to cut taxes, and for other state programs and services.”
“While we recognize the state’s economy was in bad shape, and many state budgets were cut, local revenue sharing paid a far higher price than all the others.”
Gilmartin said the state budget surplus gives the Legislature and governor the opportunity to return some of the cuts they made to local services that keep people safe in their neighborhoods, keep local drinking water clean, maintain local roads and bridges, fund local parks and libraries, and more.
“The state Senate has proposed a 4.8-percent increase in local revenue sharing for the 2014 state budget. Given the anticipated state budget surplus, anything less than that is unacceptable and unconscionable,” Gilmartin said. “I promise that local leaders and their constituents will remember if the Legislature fails to invest part of the surplus to restore some of the massive cuts Lansing has made to revenue sharing and essential local services.”
Gilmartin said that using the surplus to restore cuts to revenue sharing “becomes critical” if the personal property tax (PPT) law passed by the Legislature in December is approved by Michigan voters next year.
The PPT law would cut local taxes paid by local businesses to local communities across the state by hundreds of millions of dollars. The law will not take effect unless it is approved by Michigan voters in August 2014. The Legislature has not yet voted to put the question onto the ballot.
“Over the past decade, the Legislature and governor have eviscerated statutory revenue sharing, and next year local revenues will be cut even more if the PPT law is approved by voters,” Gilmartin said. “The state budget surplus should rightfully be used to restore some of the massive revenue sharing cuts of the past decade and cushion the blow of yet another cut that is looming.”
Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.