Renowned economist and Hillsdale College Professor Dr. Gary Wolfram has released a report calling on the state to commit to restoring state revenue sharing dollars and remove restraints on road funding enacted in the PA 51 funding formula.
The report indicates that statutory revenue sharing is still 26 percent lower than it should be despite nominal increases in the last few years. Dr. Wolfram also emphasizes the challenges communities face in the ability to raise revenue because property tax growth is capped by 5 percent or the rate of inflation whichever is less.
You can view Dr. Wolfram’s report here: Wolfram report
We appreciate this well researched take on the status of municipal finance in Michigan. Last month the League released The Great Revenue Sharing Heist which emphasizes the significant financial impact $6.2 billion in revenue sharing cuts has had on our communities.
Dr. Wolfram concludes that it should be a priority of the state to “restore its commitment to its local governments. In particular, it should use some of the projected surplus to return revenue sharing to full statutory funding. It should also remove constraints on local governments in Act 51 that limit their ability to maintain local roads.” We could not agree more, Dr. Wolfram.
Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at [email protected]