Cities, Townships Brace for Revenue Sharing Cuts

By: Katie Kim Email
By: Katie Kim Email

Proof Leslie Township is suffering from cuts to revenue sharing is in its roads.

"None of us wants to drive on bumpy roads and run into pot holes in the spring," says Supervisor Dallas Henney.

But something's got to give. Henney says it's either roads or public safety.

"We're trying not to cut public safety," says Henney. "There's just no place to cut without seeing a serious reduction in the service. We have to make choices."

And so do legislators, says Summer Minnick from the Michigan Municipal League. She tells us the state has already cut revenue sharing by $4 billion over the last decade.

"We need to start making this a priority--public safety, infrastructure--things that are going to attract people and retain jobs in our communities," says Minnick, who is the director of state affairs.

Local governments are preparing for the worst when it comes to state revenue sharing, so they're doing everything they can to make sure they continue providing essential services. For example, the city of East Lansing voted in May on a property tax increase. Other townships and villages are also making drastic cuts.

"That's been on the backs of local taxpayers," Minnick says.

Taxpayers like those living in Ingham County's rural townships. Henney tells us they'll vote on a millage increase to fund road patrols in November.

"As the state cuts funding to the county, Ingham County is now thinking of cutting the out-county road patrol," Henney says.

Henney says he's relying on voters, not the state legistlature.

"Every time the state looks to balance their budget, that usually means they're going to cut revenue sharing," says Henney.

Summer Minnick says there are two different budgets. The House proposes a small increase in funds, while the Senate cuts revenue sharing. Gov. Granholm will reveal her version of the budget on Wednesday.


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