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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Latest Publications

Local-Option City Income Taxation in Michigan

Local-Option City Income Taxation in Michigan Memorandum 1103, January 2011 Michigan’s prolonged economic recession is creating fiscal stress for many local governments and causing city government officials to seek alternative revenue sources. Revenues from the two current primary sources, property taxes and unrestricted state revenue sharing, have fallen sharply in recent years. Some might prefer a local-option sales tax, but the state Constitution dictates the maximum sales tax rate and the ...

Benchmarking the City of Manistee

Benchmarking the City of Manistee October 2010, Report 365 Foreword As the City of Manistee worked through the budget process for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, it became clear that the budget would be one of many successive challenging budgets to put together. City policymakers were struck by the dwindling resources — from property taxes, state revenue sharing, etc.; by the need to engage LEAN manufacturing type principles for city operations to be as efficient as possible given the relativel...

Nontraditional K-12 Schools in Michigan

Nontraditional K-12 Schools in Michigan September 2010, Report 364 Summary Traditional public schools are responsible for the wide dissemination of education and the growth of prosperity in the United States. However, the perceived failure of some traditional schools to adequately educate and graduate students, the desire for publicly funded school choice, and the perceived need for a broader array of educational approaches than had been found in most traditional school districts, led to develop...

Financial Emergencies in Michigan Local Governments

Financial Emergencies in Michigan Local Governments April 2010, Report 362 Michigan’s general purpose local governments are facing extraordinary financial pressures. These general purpose local governments, which include counties, cities, villages, and townships, depend most heavily on revenues from property taxes and state revenue sharing. Both of these sources have been affected by the Great Recession that officially began in December, 2007. Property values have declined precipitously, in ma...

  • 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