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CRC Column

The right to criticize government is also an obligation to know what you are talking about. 
-Lent Upson, 1st Executive Director of CRC  

The media recognize that without a trusted, independent source of data and analysis, the flow of information about state and local government issues would be controlled by two sources -- the governmental units themselves and interest groups. CRC is that trusted source. Here are the latest articles in which CRC is cited:



April 2014

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CRC has not been immune from the effects of the economic problems plaguing Michigan and the U.S. But it is exactly at times such as these that the work of CRC is most vital and that we most need your support.

If you agree that an independent source of unbiased, nonpartisan information and analysis is critical to the public debate; if you agree that if there were no CRC, we would have to create one, join with the others who support us and contribute generously today.

  • Report: Michigan tax revenue up $1.3B since 2009, local tax revenue down $1B, April 16, 2014
  • The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan published its annual tax report Tuesday, the state deadline for personal income tax filings, outlining recently-approved tax code changes and publishing data on past collections.

  • Report: Locals Saw $1B Revenue Loss Between '09, '12
    MIRS Capitol Capsule, April 15, 2014
  • The Citizens Research Council (CRC) study shows that while total state tax revenues went from $24.3 billion in 2009 to $25.6 billion in 2012 -- an increase of $1.3 billion -- total local taxes went from $12.6 billion to $11.6 billion.

  • Locals To State: Partnership 'Broken,' Needs Fixing
    Gongwer News Service, April 15, 2014
  • An updated report of the state's tax system released Tuesday by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has local municipalities giving state government the "I told you so" treatment, as the report suggests local governments are struggling financially due to various tax policy changes.

  • Local governments: Tax Day study shows state not paying fair share
    Michigan Radio, April 15, 2014
  • The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council released a study Tuesday that shows state revenue grew by more than $1 billion between 2009 and 2012. At the same time, local government revenue dropped by about the same amount.

  • After spending more money on prisons than higher education, Michigan gets serious about high cost of corrections, April 15, 2014
  • Instead of early release, Schuette argues the state should looks to cut costs by reducing wages of corrections employees and the cost of services. According to a 2011 study by the Lansing-based Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonprofit research organization, Michigan's corrections wages ranked sixth highest in the nation, at $58,089 a year. He backs the decision in 2013 to privatize food service for prisons and would expand that to areas like laundry and transportation.

  • Today's Deficit Districts Face Uphill Battle
    MIRS Capitol Capsule, April 11, 2014
  • "School districts could ask the voters `hey we've got a problem, we need to solve it,'" said Craig THIEL of Citizens Research Council (CRC).

    So for the first few years of the data MIRS analyzed, that was an option, but not anymore.

    "The calculus is now `you've got to solve the problem within the resources you have,'" Thiel said.

    Holland Sentinel, April 9, 2014
  • “All along, they said this money is here to do these things,” said Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier, but the state decided not to help fund the $10,000 study by the Citizens Research Council that said the cities could save about $500,000 if they consolidated.

    March 2014

  • Public affairs research
    Downtown: Birmingham/Bloomfield news magazine, March 31, 2014
  • The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a public affairs research organization whose sole objective since it began in 1916 has been to provide legislators, business people and the media with factual, unbiased, and independent information on significant issues concerning state and local government organization and finance. It is a privately-funded, not-for-profit organization which takes absolutely no political stance whatsoever, making it the ultimate resource for Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

  • Michigan's no-fault insurance protection is about people, not profits, and needs to be maintained, March 30, 2014
  • A long time ago we chose to take care of one another. We should not let a singular focus on a financial "for-profit-above-all-else" attitude distort a core value that has served Michigan and America so well. As a recent Citizens Research Council Report concludes: "Policymakers should consider reforms to Michigan's no-fault insurance that have little to no impact on accident victims but would potentially lead to significant reductions in health care spending related to auto accidents."

  • How Michigan's revenue sharing 'raid' cost communities billions for local services, March 26, 2014
  • The non-partisan Citizens Research Council, in a 2013 report, noted that more than $5 billion was diverted from the statutory revenue sharing program between fiscal years 2001 and 2012. State budgets grew slightly faster than the rate of inflation during that time, while municipalities cut roughly 27 percent of their workforce.

  • Michigan cities slam state for holding on to $6.2B
    Detroit News, March 19, 2014
  • A 2012 report on revenue sharing by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan noted local Michigan governments rely more on state money as a proportion of their general revenues than those in all but a few other states.

    The Snyder administration's revenue-sharing performance criteria are constitutional, the CRC report also said, but at least some of them seem to violate the “spirit” of state law. They seek to achieve policy objectives at the expense, at least in perception, of local control, CRC said.

  • Ed Experts: Enrollment Down, Schools Up, Local Funding Flawed
    MIRS News Service, March 11, 2014
  • This time, SBE heard from Jeff GUILFOYLE and Craig THIEL with Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) and David ARSEN, a professor with Michigan State University's College of Education.

    The CRC tackled the issues of declining enrollment, special education funding and financially stressed districts. Arsen dove deeper into overall funding and local discrepancies in funding.

  • Breaking down Michigan's no-fault auto insurance: The costs, the claims and who ultimately pays, March 11, 2014
  • A 2013 report by the nonpartisan, Lansing-based Citizens Research Council found that Michigan's no-fault law accounted for medical claims in Michigan that cost insurers 57 percent more than claims in similar crashes in other states. It also found that auto insurance premiums in Michigan are 17 percent higher than the average in other states.

    February 2014

  • Bankruptcy exit plan explores collecting taxes from residents working outside Detroit
    Detroit News, February 24, 2014
  • Eric Lupher, director of local affairs for the Citizens Research Council, agreed, saying some communities in a similar situation would support state legislation putting the onus for collecting those taxes on employers outside their borders.

  • Citizens Need More Details From Plan of Adjustment
    WDET Radio, February 21, 2014
  • The city of Detroit released its plan of adjustment, which proposes cuts to pensions and restructuring of city services. The plan is designed to help the city emerge from bankruptcy. WDET's Sandra Svoboda spoke with Eric Lupher, Director of Local Affairs for Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

  • Hartland task force calls for road tax
    Daily Press & Argus, February 19, 2014
  • Task force members noted that the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has reported that Livingston County ranks last among all 83 of the state's counties in per-capita road money received from Lansing.

  • Detroiters without cars seek jobs in vain amid depopulated city
    Crain's Detroit Business, February 18, 2014
  • Those gains push against a decades-long tide of blight and population loss that eroded the tax base. Detroit lost 78 percent of its retail businesses and 80 percent of its manufacturing base from 1972 to 2007 -- before the 18-month recession that began in December 2007 -- according to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a public-policy nonprofit organization.

    January 2014

  • Come Heller high water
    MLive, January 31, 2014
  • Hint: The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan says that, adjusting for inflation and retirement costs, revenue for other basic school spending is down nearly 9 percent from a decade ago

  • Fiscal finaglers could evade Balanced Budget Amendment
    Detroit News Blog, January 31, 2014
  • But as the Michigan Citizens Research Council noted in a 2009 report, more than $8 billion in one-time revenues and accounting gimmicks were used between fiscal 2001 and fiscal 2008 to produce "balanced" budgets.

  • Mark Schauer targets right-to-work, penion tax and disputed K-12 cuts in Detroit rally
    MLive Newspapers, January 28, 2014
  • Senate Fiscal Agency records show that overall education funding has increased since Snyder took office, but the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan notes that much of the extra funds have gone toward increased state contributions to retirement funds, rather than into classrooms.

  • Snyder takes on K-12 funding 'misinformation'
    AP story, January 26, 2014
  • The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan says while the debate over funding K-12 education is nothing new, it has moved beyond the question of how much money is needed to "how much was received." The group says while state funding has risen significantly of late, it mostly helped to restore the lost stimulus aid and to meet growing unfunded retirement liabilities from the 2008-09 market collapse.

  • Michigan's Budget Surplus May Prevent Cuts to School Funding
    WEMU 89.1, January 14, 2014
  • Last year, the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan warned recent funding increases for schools and early childhood programs might not be sustainable. It estimated they would create a $240 million hole in the state's School Aid Budget.

  • Citizens Research Council looks at the process of ballot initiatives in MichiganE
    WDET, January 10, 2014
  • Podcast of Craig Fahle show

  • Dissolve troubled school districts with care
    Detroit News, January 2, 2014
  • Last summer, under the authority of a new state law, state officials dissolved two school districts. Their pupils were assigned to neighboring systems. But a thoughtful new study by the Michigan Citizens Research Council suggests that this tactic should be used sparingly.



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Last Updated April 17, 2014