Politics
4:43 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Proposal calls for revenue sharing based on population

Proposals for different ways the state delivers payments to local governments for services are bubbling up at the state Capitol.

A bill in the state Senate would distribute revenue sharing payments to cities, townships and villages based on population.

That idea upsets lawmakers from Detroit, which receives more money than other areas, but has a declining population.

Republican state Senator Tory Rocca is from Macomb County. He says cities in his district are forced to make hard decisions because they send too much money to support Detroit:

"They're laying off police, they’re laying off firefighters, they’re raising taxes just to support services they used to have. It’s gotten to the point where it’s become untenable for people in my area or communities in my area to keep sending money to the city at this rate, especially when a lot of it – as we’ve seen – has been wasted through corruption, and just plain wasted."

 Lawmakers from Detroit say large urban areas are near a tipping point where smaller payments from the state would be catastrophic for the health and safety of people in those communities.

Governor Rick Snyder says he would like to use revenue sharing payments to reward innovation in cities and spur cost savings in local governments.