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.

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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

Financing Special Education: Analyses and Challenges

Financing Special Education: Analyses and Challenges Report 378, March 2012 K-12 education and school funding have become perennial public policy issues discussed at local school board meetings, community and parent gatherings, and throughout the halls of the state Capitol. With respect to financial matters, debate often focuses on the near-term – budgets and funding decisions for the current and next years. However, this very important topic requires thoughtful debate that must consider the l...

State Oversight: The New York Approach

State Oversight: The New York Approach Note 2012-02, March 2012 As Detroit and Michigan officials work to resolve the financial crisis facing this state’s largest city, it may be instructive to revisit a similar situation: the 1975 financial crisis in New York City. Comparing the factors that led to the crisis, the negotiations, and the structure that was put in place to resolve the crisis and place New York City firmly on the road to financial recovery and sound budgeting and financial ma...

Differences in Proposed Consent Agreements between the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan

Differences in Proposed Consent Agreements between the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan Note 2012-01, March 2012 The City of Detroit has projected that it may run out of cash in May. As the 30 day extension of the Review Team’s allotted time to evaluate the financial condition of Detroit city government neared its end without agreement on a plan that could prevent appointment of an emergency manager, State Treasurer Andy Dillon delivered a proposed draft consent agreement to the state...

Education Reform: Teacher Performance Management Systems

Education Reform: Teacher Performance Management Systems Report 377, March 2012 The second in a miniseries on teachers and teaching, Education Reform: Teacher Performance Management Systems confirms the importance of good teaching and the challenges associated with systems that have been used to, and will in the future, measure the quality of teachers. Historically, teacher evaluations found nearly all teachers to be satisfactory or better, even in districts with very low student performance. Pa...

Blog: CRC Column

Recalling State Officials in Michigan

The State of Michigan was one of the first states (Oregon the other) to allow for the recall of state elected officials (except judges).  The 1908 Michigan Constitution (Article III, Section 8 ) provided the Michigan electorate with this tool of direct democracy; a power established during the Progressive Era of the early 20th century and carried forward into the 1963 Michigan Constitution (Article II, Section 8).  Recall allows citizens the power to remove an elected official before the end o...

Improving the Efficiency of PA 51, a Long Over-Due Reform

In his recent special message delivered to Michigan citizens and the Michigan Legislature, Governor Snyder calls for changes to Public Act 51 of 1951 (commonly referred to as PA 51), the law that governs the distribution of nearly $900 million in annual state transportation tax receipts among local road agencies.  The Governor recommends a number of changes that are aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation revenue distribution system.  One suggestion involves ...

Is the Homestead Exemption going to disappear?

Question: Dear CRC, My father is afraid he will need to move as he heard that the homestead exemption may disappear. From your document on Gov. Snyder’s proposed changes it appeared there may be a decrease in the exemption for seniors. Is that the case and if so, what may that look like? We reside in Northern Michigan and my father pays $7,000/year in property taxes with 100 percent homestead. If he had to pay more, they may need to move. Thank you for any guidance that you can provide. Re...

Large Urban Districts Challenged Under Proposal A

Much attention has been paid to Michigan’s economic problems over the last decade and, by extension, the direct effects on the state budget.  Local school district finances have not been immune from the state’s financial challenges because a significant portion of their operating budgets originate with state-level taxes, an arrangement created by the 1994 passage of Proposal A.  While many districts have had to cope with funding challenges in recent years, the Proposal A school funding mod...

  • 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

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