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

Options for Managing Medicaid Funding and Cost Growth

Options for Managing Medicaid Funding and Cost Growth Report 376, February 2012 Nearly 1 in every 5 Michigan residents is currently enrolled in Medicaid – a state operated medical insurance program for low income individuals and families that is co-financed by the state and federal governments. Because of the state’s nearly decade long recession beginning in Fiscal Year 2002, demand for this program increased, growing enrollment nearly 60 percent. In the current fiscal year, over 15 percent ...

Stabilized State Budget and Rainy Day Fund Deposits Improve State’s Cash Position

Stabilized State Budget and Rainy Day Fund Deposits Improve State’s Cash Position State Budget Note 2012-01, February 2012 While the State of Michigan’s final audited figures for Fiscal Year 2011 are not complete, recent evidence suggests that state policymakers have reversed course over the past five years and have taken steps to address the state’s once very weak cash position. The report documents the recent improvements in the state’s cash position, and urges lawmakers to continue to...

2009 Tax Revenue Comparison: Michigan and the U.S. Average

2009 Tax Revenue Comparison: Michigan and the U.S. Average Memo 1111 ( February 2012 ) 18 pages The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has released its analysis of recently released U.S. Census Bureau state and local government finance data. The Census data allow for easy comparisons of tax burdens across the 50 states. This publication provides historical and interstate comparisons of tax revenues.

Streamlining Local Government Service Delivery in Lenawee County

Summary Michigan’s structure of local government is characterized by a quilt of townships with cities and villages sprinkled among the townships. Because each of these local governments acts as an autonomous unit, there is a sense that this structure creates duplication and inefficiency. Added to the problems with the structure of local government are the economic conditions in which Michigan businesses, residents and local governments are currently operating. The erosion of jobs, primarily in...

Blog: CRC Column

Michigan School Spending Is More Equal, But Gaps Remain

As highlighted in CRC’s recent report, Distribution of State Aid to Michigan Schools, the school finance reforms of the mid-1990s achieved a number of their intended initial goals.  At the top of this list is progress towards greater per-pupil operating funding equality.  Despite this progress, absolute equity has not been achieved.  Furthermore, the near-singular pursuit of funding equity has meant that financial resources have not been used to address other important educational objective...

Michigan Highway Finance and Governance: A One-Year Report Card

When the Citizens Research Council of Michigan report, Michigan Highway Finance and Governance, was published in May 1997, it acknowledged the need for additional highway funding. But it also made the point that without structural reforms in the way in which the money collected for our roads is distributed and spent, inefficiencies will result in these dollars purchasing a lower level of transportation services than they should. The report suggested attention be directed toward: Jurisdictional c...

  • 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