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

Where are the Primary Care Doctors?

Where are the Primary Care Doctors? A Look at Michigan’s Primary Care Physician Shortage Report 390, June 2015 Primary care as delivered by physicians is an integral part of a quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare system. For decades, stakeholders have reported shortages or impending shortages of these types of physicians. With the enactment of the federal Affordable Care Act, Michigan’s decision to expand Medicaid, the aging Baby Boomers, and other policy, demographic, and cultural...

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...

Blog: CRC Column


Snyder’s Plan for DPS may Ultimately Hinge on Local Tax Vote

NOTE:  A copy of this post appeared in the Detroit Free Press on November 5, 2015.   Early last week, Governor Snyder re-introduced his plan to address the longstanding financial and academic crises in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS).  The plan involves a number of structural changes to the district’s current governance, management, and educational systems.  The Governor now turns his attention to selling lawmakers and the public on his plan.  Although the plan appears designed to av...

CRC Offers Testimony on Tax Increment Financing to Michigan House of Representatives Local Government Committee

CRC Offers Testimony on Tax Increment Financing to Michigan House of Representatives Local Government Committee At the invitation of the Michigan House of Representatives Local Government Committee, CRC President Eric Lupher testified on the use of tax increment financing.  The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has a long history of analyzing the laws that authorize tax increment financing as an economic development tool and in their interaction with other laws. Tax increment financing (TIF...

Tom Clay, A Remembrance

Remembering Tom Clay Former Citizens Research Council Director of State Affairs Tom Clay passed away on Wednesday, September 2 at his home surrounded by his family. Tom Clay joined the Citizens Research Council of Michigan staff in 1997 following a long career in state government. It was clear from the beginning that it was a perfect fit. By training and temperament, he was made for the kind of work that CRC does. A native Hoosier, Tom was educated in the Indianapolis public schools. He was grad...

  • September 8, 2015

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 ...

  • 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