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

Outline of the Michigan Tax System – 2015

Outline of the Michigan Tax System 2015 Update For a second consecutive year, the state Legislature’s most significant effort to overhaul state tax laws had its fate decided not by roll call votes on the floors of the House and Senate but by a vote of the people at polling stations across the state.  In 2014, state policymakers enacted legislation phasing out the personal property tax (PPT) on most commercial and industrial property; but that package was tied to an August 2014 statewide ballo...

State Assumption of School Debts

State Assumption of School Debts Memorandum 1135, April 2015 Introduction On March 30, 2015, the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren (the Coalition) issued a report concerning the K-12 public education landscape and challenges in the City of Detroit. The report contained a number of recommendations and calls to action, including many that focus on educational governance, choice, finance, and service delivery. The report is concerned with all schools in the city, both traditional p...

Analysis of Proposal 15-1: Sales and Motor Fuel Tax Increases Related to Transportation Funding

Statewide Ballot Issue: Proposal 15-1 Sales and Motor Fuel Tax Increases Related to Transportation Funding Report 389, March 2015 The full analysis of Proposal 2015-1 was amended slightly on March 23, 2015. In the first full paragraph of the second column on page 15 of the report, the original report stated that “… the act also phases in across a three year period a 36.1 percent increase in registration taxes on large trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds.” In fact the increases v...

Use of Immediate Effect in Michigan

Use of Immediate Effect in Michigan Memorandum 1133, March 2015 Introduction While Michigan lawmakers have lived within the written word of the 1963 Constitution, they have ignored the spirit of a certain provision for almost as long as the Constitution has been in effect. The provision states that laws do not take effect until 90 days after the end of the legislative session, unless the legislature, by a super-majority vote, grants immediate effect. Under the immediate effect mechanism, a law t...

Blog: CRC Column


A Call for Redistricting Reform

UPDATE:  A version of this blog post appeared in the July 14 edition of Bridge Magazine. The recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion affirming the constitutionality of Arizona’s independent redistricting commission has refocused public attention on a fundamental process in our representative democracy – the drawing of congressional and state legislative district boundaries.  The Court ruled that states that authorize the initiative and referendum have divided the legislative powers between the ...

Primary Care Doctor Shortages: Detroit Metro Region

Renewed by implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act and the state’s Medicaid expansion, experts continue to warn about existing and impending primary care physician shortages statewide and nationally.  Should Michigan be worried?  It turns out that our statewide supply of primary care physicians is better than average, but when the Citizens Research Council dug deeper, we found that many Michigan counties have insufficient numbers of primary care physicians including family doctors,...

Primary Care Doctor Shortages: West Michigan

Concerns over physician shortages in the nation and state have been brewing for decades.  Between expanded health coverage, an aging population, a changing medical workforce, and a multitude of other factors, primary care physician shortages continue to be a growing concern.  Should Michigan be worried?  Are all communities affected equally?  Statewide, the number of active physicians relative to the population is above the national average but further analysis shows that physicians are more...


Buena Vista Voters Reject, Again, Tax to Pay Off School Debt

While the defeat of statewide ballot proposal 15-1 garnered the most media attention following the May 5 election, voters in the now-dissolved Buena Vista School District rejected a millage renewal request for a re-purposed school operating tax to pay off the district’s operating debts.  This was the second time voters rejected the millage request (November 2014).  Failure to get voter authorization, again, raises the question of how the district’s debts will be satisfied. The State of Mic...

  • 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