The House Appropriations subcommittee on General Government, which includes the appropriation for revenue sharing, met yesterday to begin their consideration of Governor Snyder’s budget recommendation for the upcoming 2017-18 fiscal year. This week’s subcommittee hearing centered on revenue sharing and the Municipal League was invited to present our position on revenue sharing to the eight-member subcommittee.
The Governor recently recommended, for the third straight year, that statutory revenue sharing for cities, villages and townships remain flat, at $248.8 million. The Governor cited an estimated 2.3% expected growth in sales tax revenue to boost Constitutional payments, despite the shortcomings of those same estimates in the budget year that just ended last fall (Constitutional revenue sharing payments fell by nearly $1 million compared to the previous FY). In his original presentation, the Governor also pointed to the $109 million in additional revenue that local units of government received from the new personal property tax reimbursement process as a reason why he was not restoring dollars into revenue sharing, something which the League quickly responded should not be counted as a proxy for the many years of budget cuts and neglect.
Following a historical overview of the revenue sharing program from the House Fiscal Agency, the Municipal League used our opportunity to address the subcommittee by explaining the important role that revenue sharing plays in every community’s budget. We walked the legislators through the limited resources that communities have available to provide critical services and how this broken system has been disconnected from the economic recovery that the state’s budget has experienced in recent years and the critical need that exists for this budget to include additional funding for revenue sharing, above the Governor’s recommendation. You can view a copy of the League’s presentation here – Gen Govt SubCommittee-Feb 2017.
Following our testimony, the Michigan Townships Association and the Michigan Association of Counties also addressed the subcommittee urging their support for additional funding. The subcommittee will continue hearings over the coming weeks with their recommendation due around the spring break.
Please contact your legislator and urge them to support increased funding for revenue sharing.
Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and [email protected].