Welcome To Michigan's Oldest & Most Respected
Public Policy Research Organization

For 100 years, the objective of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been to provide factual, unbiased independent information on significant issues concerning state and local government organization and finance. CRC believes that the use of this information by policymakers will lead to sound, rational public policy in Michigan.

Citizens Research Council Centennial

Having been originally organized in 1916, 2016 marks 100 years of operation for the Citizens Research Council. We have events planned, a history of the organization is in the works, and associations and governments are sending congratulatory comments. Please help us celebrate this accomplishment throughout the year.

Read More

NEW Job Posting - State Policy Expert

THIS POSITION HAS BEEN REPOSTED ALLOWING FOR LESS EXPERIENCED APPLICANTS: The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is seeking a research associate to join our team in performing nonpartisan, independent analysis of state and local public policy in Michigan. The person applying for this position should have an interest in state finances and the state budget process, an ability to analyze state taxes and programs, possess strong speaking skills, and be able to respond to inquiries from media members and others.

Job Posting

Latest Publications

Using State Shared Revenues to Incentivize Local Government Behavior

Using State Shared Revenues to Incentivize Local Government Behavior State Budget Note 2012-03 ( July 2012 ) 10 pages Governor Snyder signed the $49 billion fiscal year 2013 (FY2013) state budget on Tuesday, June 26. Tucked within the various appropriation line items and the related controlling provisions of the FY2013 budget is the second year of a policy shift in how the state shares its financial resources with sub-state entities – K-12 school districts and local governments. The main thrus...

Using State Shared Revenues to Incentivize Local Government Behavior

Using State Shared Revenues to Incentivize Local Government Behavior State Budget Note 2012-03, July 2012 Governor Snyder signed the $49 billion fiscal year 2013 (FY2013) state budget on Tuesday, June 26. Tucked within the various appropriation line items and the related controlling provisions of the FY2013 budget is the second year of a policy shift in how the state shares its financial resources with sub-state entities – K-12 school districts and local governments. The main thrust of the shi...

State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits

State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits Memo 1113 ( June 2012 ) 5 pages Beginning in the fall of 2012 all educational services in the Muskegon Heights School District will be turned over to a charter school operator and the District will no longer be involved in the direct provision of such services under a plan proposed by the state-appointed emergency manager. This plan would be implemented under Public Act 4 of 2011. As part of this “charter conversion” plan, the Dist...

State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits

State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits Memo 1113, June 2012 Beginning in the fall of 2012 all educational services in the Muskegon Heights School District will be turned over to a charter school operator and the District will no longer be involved in the direct provision of such services under a plan proposed by the state-appointed emergency manager. This plan would be implemented under Public Act 4 of 2011. As part of this “charter conversion” plan, the District’s mu...

Blog: CRC Column

1917 Report on Street Cleaning and Refuse Collection in Detroit posted to website

In 1916, the appearance of Detroit’s streets, alleys, and public places was “disgraceful”.  People regularly dropped paper and other waste wherever they were, rubbish was thrown into alleys with merely the hope of hitting the receptacle intended to hold that waste, and a fine filmy dust was constantly settling on the roads creating a “nuisance”. At the same time the population of the city was growing extremely rapid, with new territories annexed to the outskirts of...

Special Millage for Police and Fire in Detroit

On May 10, both Detroitnewspapers reported that members of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners announced support for a proposed special millage that would be used to retain police and fire personnel threatened with layoff due to budget cuts.  The proposed  five-year, seven-mill authorization would raise about $56 million annually, according to the reports. The Home Rule City Act sets a maximum of 20 mills for operations of a city.  (A mill is equal to $1 of tax for every $1,000 of taxab...

Special Education Enrollment: Traditional Public Schools vs. Charter Schools

Some people believe, mistakenly, that charter schools can be selective with regards to the students they enroll and that this selectivity accounts for the difference in student composition when compared to traditional public schools in Michigan.  One example people point to is the concentration of special education students in charters vis-à-vis traditional public schools.  CRC’s recent report on special education finances sheds light on the common misperception surrounding special educatio...

  • Your knowledge and ability to distill the key issues in an easily understood manner is indeed impressive. As a long-time member of the Michigan School Business Officials, and current president, I look forward to your presentations and updates. They are thoughtful, balanced, and accurate. To say that you are a credible source on state finances is an understatement.

    Timothy Raymer
    Assistant Superintendent, Grandville Public Schools

  • The Citizens Research Council of Michigan -- the folks that bring you all those great non-partisan reports and data on Michigan government, laws, etc. are finally up and running on the web and it was worth the wait. This is a great site. Low-key graphics, great indexing, plenty of content including all their reports, research and memos...This is an invaluable tool...

    Debbie Gallagher, Government Information Specialist
    Michigan Electronic Library, University of Michigan

  • The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been providing unbiased analysis of public issues since 1916. It is one of this state's indispensable institutions... The CRC's supporters recognize the need for impartial and nonpartisan analysis of local and state policy and fiscal issues... The value of the CRC over the years has been that it is private and independent of political party or ideology.


    The Detroit News

  • Dear CRC,
    Thank you for all the fine work you do. I'm a long time reader of you analyses and am a better citizen because of it.

    George Matthews
    Retired School Teacher

  • I have had a long relationship using the publications of the Citizens Research Council...you do a lot of good work here and we appreciate the support that keeps this operation so vital and relevant to the debates in Lansing, to Michigan's economic future, and to Michigan's future, period.

    Honorable John Engler
    Former Michigan Governor

  • The Citizens Research Council strives, without regard to political party or agenda, to frame educational issues in a balanced and thought-provoking context. Its consistent record of objectivity and thoroughness has made the CRC a high quality and immensely credible resource for policymakers at the state and local leadership levels. You can always count on CRC's findings to be solid and trustworthy.

    Mike Flanagan
    Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Fortunately, we have here in Michigan an admirable entity known as the Citizens Research Council. CRC often comes to the rescue in public policy disputes and has demonstrated an acute ability to separate fact from fiction.

    Glenn Gilbert
    Oakland Press

  • The non-aligned Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a group with no particular axes to grind that we can see. Their bare-bones, passionless and objective studies of Michigan's ballot proposals might prove very helpful to interested voters wanting to make the most informed possible choices.


    Muskegon Chronicle

  • Since 1916, the CRC has been an advocate of state and local "good government." The Research Council's studies of policy and administrative practice in Michigan win national prizes for excellence, and universal respect from the best of our state and local leaders.

    Michael Meagher
    Fowlerville News/Review

  • Nonpartisan, accurate, unbiased and credible research on key issues, from school vouchers to Internet sales tax to better ways to finance highway construction to ideas for eliminating the blight of abandoned, tax-reverted properties in Michigan's older cities.

    Mary Kramer
    Crain's Detroit Business

  • [Escanaba Schools Superintendent Tom] Smith respects the findings of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. "It's a pretty good group, well-respected, nonpartisan," he said. "Its opinions have been valued by both Democrats and Republicans as they formulate state policy"and by teachers and administrators alike."


    Daily Press, Escanaba

JOIN THE CITIZENS RESEARCH COUNCIL OF MICHIGAN'S MAILING LIST