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


100 Years: Making Democracy Work

Citizens Research Council of Michigan 100 YEARS: MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK Spring 1916 in Detroit got off to a bad start. During the night of March 21 and into the next day, nearly 10 inches of snow fell on the city in a record springtime storm, giving the primitive snow removal methods of the day (horses, wagons, men with shovels) all they could handle. But it was not all bad: On March 22, with the drifts still deep on the ground, a new organization was chartered that would help make government in ...

2016 Outline of the Michigan Tax System

Outline of the Michigan Tax System 2016 Update Once again, tax policy discussions during 2015 were dominated by the Legislature’s efforts to come to an agreement on a long-term plan to increase revenues for Michigan’s increasingly deteriorating road system.  Late in the 2013-14 legislative session, the Legislature approved a plan that traded an increase in motor fuel taxes for the elimination of the sales tax on motor fuel.  However, the plan also included a 1 percent increase in the sales...

A Quick Look at Michigan Hospital Finances

A Quick Look at Michigan Hospital Finances Memorandum 1139, March 2016 In Brief Michigan hospitals, in total, showed revenues from all sources exceeding expenses resulting in surpluses of $821.5 million in 2011, $1.3 billion in 2012, $1.6 billion in 2013, and $1.4 billion in 2014. Surplus as a percent of net patient revenue rose from 3.4 percent to 5.4 percent over the period. Of the 135 hospitals covered in this report, 65 showed a surplus in net income from patient care in 2011 compared with 5...

Exploring the Potential Effects of Evenwel v. Abbott

Exploring the Potential Effects of Evenwel v. Abbott CRC Note 2016-01, March 2016 A case before the United States Supreme Court could have implications for how district lines are drawn for the election of representatives to government offices in Michigan and across the nation. The underlying question at hand in Evenwel v. Abbott is whether the “one per-son, one vote” principle outlined in Reynolds v. Sims and the equal protection provisions set forth by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United...

Blog: CRC Column


CRC and the State Budget

Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization.  This is the fourth in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has a long history of promoting efficiency and effectiveness in state government.  In this budget season, it may be difficult to fathom an era where state government did not have a budget, nor a budget process.  But as of 1919, this was the ...


Michigan’s Fiscal Future

Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization.  This is the third in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. Michigan’s Fiscal Future was the last in a series of analyses on Michigan’s chronic budget problem.  Beginning in 2001, CRC published a series of papers showing that a state budget deficit was inevitable and that by Fiscal Year 2003, the deficit would become difficult to manage. ...

  • April 8, 2016

CRC and the Con-Con

Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization.  This is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. The drafters of Michigan’s state constitution, approved by voters in 1963, were largely and integrally informed by objective, nonpartisan research conducted by the Citizens Research Council in 1961 and 1962.  In fact, CRC’s work for the Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) was th...

SCOTUS rejects arguments in redistricting case

April 4, 2016 – The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected the arguments that legislative redistricting should be based on a citizens of voting age population instead of the total population that has been used throughout the nation’s history. The case of Evenwel v. Abbott challenged the way that Texas draws political districts improperly expanding the voting power of urban areas and therefore violated the guarantee of equal protection under the law under the Constitution’s 14th Amen...

  • 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