Municipalities’ fiscal outlook is gloomy despite economy
AP Story, April 22, 2017
Despite continued job growth and record auto sales, the state’s per-capita personal income lags the national average after a long-lasting downturn. Taxable values of property — which largely determine revenue for local governments — are below peak levels in 85 percent of municipalities, according to the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council. And their other major revenue source, state aid, is down 20 percent from 15 years ago.


State Pre-Funding Its Own OPEB Liability Between 27.5%, 0%
MIRS News, April 18, 2017
Although some of those numbers may look like a retirement system is weak, the system that ought to be of the most concern is the teacher retirement system, said Craig THIEL, senior research associate for the Citizens Research Council.

“In terms of the potential for creating serious financial problems, the teachers’ one is the one you have look at just because of the sheer size and scale. That is the one that is most threatening to the viability of school districts and the state,” he said.


Is It Time For A New Local Government Structure?
West Southwest show on WMUK Public Radio, April 17, 2017
Citizens Research Council of Michigan President Eric Lupher says there’s little appetite for eliminating local units of government in Michigan. But he says there is still a chance for reforming government services.


Michigan’s no-fault system broken
Detroit News, April 4, 2017
Finally, the third: Reduce medical costs and insurance premiums by allowing auto insurers to negotiate the best rate for their customers, just like other insurance companies can. Currently, auto insurance companies often pay 200 to 300 percent more for the same procedure as health insurance companies. That’s because health insurance companies can negotiate rates, but a loophole in state law makes it nearly impossible for auto insurance companies to do the same. This can lead to medical care providers ordering and charging for tests and procedures that may provide little or no health value to the patient, according to a report issued by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

Taking a hammer to how Michigan cities are funded
Traverse City Record-Eagle, March 31, 2017
This analysis is confirmed by a Citizens Research Council of Michigan report issued in December that examined changes in local tax bases statewide. Like Bridge, our analysis started by comparing today’s property tax base to the levels local governments taxed before the most recent recession. Similarly, we found that 85.0 percent of these local units have 2016 taxable values below what they had in at their inflation-adjusted peaks.

Make school budget work for all kids
Detroit News, March 30, 2017
A work group that studied shared time for the state Education Department found 303 districts participate, and nearly 86,000 students benefit from these courses. Craig Thiel, senior research associate at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, says the courts have settled the legality of shared time, and that it’s been a boon for districts.


CRC Report Suggests Counties Could Take On More Of Locals’ Services
MIRS News Service, March 29, 2017
A Citizens Research Council (CRC) report suggested shifting more services from locals to the county level could help cities, villages and townships balance their budgets and better serve their residents.


Taking a hammer, not a scalpel, to how Michigan cities are funded
Bridge Magazine, March 23, 2017
Guest Column


Groups sue to stop public funds for private schools
Detroit News, March 21, 2017
The provision dates back to the 1850 state Constitution and remained in the current version adopted in 1963, said Craig Thiel, president of the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

Courts usually have held that “the Legislature is the final arbiter on what is and what is not a private purpose,” Thiel said, “and in this case the Legislature went out of their way to say it’s their intention that the money is serving a larger public good.”


Michigan Already Awash in Business Subsidies
Mackinac Center blog, March 16, 2017
The Citizens Research Council gives a list and description of the economic development programs available to businesses in Michigan. It lists 53 programs offered by the state, local and federal governments. The report is 166 pages long. Some of the programs mentioned are no longer handing out awards, but most are.


State should treasure education, fund it
[Escanaba] Daily Press, March 9, 2017
The October 2014 Citizens Research Council of Michigan Memo noted, “…Overall, the School Aid Fund shouldered a significant amount of the net $1.8 billion business tax cut portion of the tax reform package.”

Auto insurers support D-Insurance
Detroit News, February 28, 2017
A 2013 study on the medical costs of no-fault insurance conducted by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a non-partisan, independent research organization, found medical providers in Michigan charge more for care related to car accidents than other states — almost 25 percent more. The CRC also found that no check on providers existed to keep them from ordering or charging more for services that may not actually help the patient. No-fault reform would begin to fix that.


Adderley family creates $1 million endowment for Citizens Research Council of Michigan
The Peninsula, February 28, 2017
In an effort to combat political spin, Terence and Jennifer Adderley, of Detroit, have established a $1 million endowment with the non-profit Citizens Research Council of Michigan to conduct public affairs research.


Funding squeeze could prompt Proposal A update
Crain’s Detroit Business, February 26, 2017
In addition, lawmakers could consider authorizing more local taxes, including local sales taxes; smoothing out annual declines in property values by using a multiyear average; and increasing municipalities’ tax caps, according to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Adderley Family Establishes $1M Endowment For Citizens Research Council
MIRS News, February 23, 2017
Terrence and Jennifer ADDERLEY have established a centennial endowment for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The couple has committed $1 million to the endowment.


Citizens Research Foundation Endowment
Gongwer News Service, February 23, 2017
Terence and Jennifer Adderley have created a centennial endowment for the Citizens Research Council for Michigan and have committed $1 million to the endowment. The endowment was set up in tribute to the 100th anniversary of the organization which conducts research and analysis on a wide variety of public issues. – See more at: http://www.gongwer.com/programming/news.cfm?article_id=560370111#sthash.zuRucnLP.dpuf


School budget: more for at-risk, less for cyber/private kids
Traverse City Record Eagle, February 21, 2017
Craig Thiel, a senior research associate for the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, said the governor’s proposals to differentiate funding — both through increased at-risk spending and a special allotment for high schools — are “significant.” He also said some entrepreneurial districts in particular have advertised their elective classes to private and home-schooled students to reduce budget deficits while other districts are not offering shared-time services.

Trump’s immigration restrictions could hurt Michigan economy, experts say
MLive.com, January 31, 2017
But long term, the concern is whether Trump’s policies will have a “chilling” effect on efforts to rebuild Michigan’s economy by attracting entrepreneurs and well-educated workers from around the world, said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Here’s how Warren Mayor Jim Fouts can be removed from office
Detroit Free Press, January 25, 2017
Gov. Rick Snyder could remove an official from office, but Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan in Livonia, said the “ability of the governor to remove someone from office is really extraordinary … You need to have some clear indication that the official has abused power in some way and it’s criminal in nature.”


At raucous Warren council meeting, Fouts is denounced, defended
Detroit Free Press, January 24, 2017
Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, said the mayor could offer to resign or do so for health reasons. He said the “ability of the governor to remove someone from office is really extraordinary … You need to have some clear indication that the official has abused power in some way and it’s criminal in nature.”