FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mike Norris
Thursday, May 17, 2017 Phone (863) 307-9553
Senator Coleman Young II Introduces Bi-Partisan Revenue Sharing Package
Detroit - Earlier this year, we received the news that Detroit was no longer being considered for Amazon’s second headquarters. The 101,000 new jobs and $7.7 billion in new wages generated by a new Amazon HQ would have transformed our community.
When asked “Why?,” area leaders were directed to a lack of regional mass transit and an inability to retain talent. The most unfortunate part of the whole situation is that this could have been avoided, had our state been more supportive of our local governments.
Michigan is home to over 1700 cities, villages and townships that are struggling to make ends meet. Under current law, the state collects sales taxes and distributes them back to local governments, under an agreement called revenue sharing. For most cities, the majority of their revenue comes from revenue sharing or property taxes.
There are two types of revenue sharing: constitutional and statutory. Constitutional revenue sharing is guaranteed. The second type, statutory, is not guaranteed. Although state law calls for a set amount of sales tax revenues to go towards statutory revenue sharing, the current budget amount is hundreds of millions of dollars below what statute dictates.
From 2003-2013, Michigan’s sales tax revenues grew from $6.6 Billion to $7.72 Billion, yet the State has failed to take steps to restore revenue sharing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan is the only state in the country providing fewer economic resources to its cities in 2012 than it did in 2002.
This decline in revenue sharing, combined with increased pension costs and the decline in property values caused by the recession, have affected Michiganians quality of life. Every day, local governments are forced to make cuts in public safety, delay street and sidewalk repairs, and postpone much needed maintenance to public utilities, parks and cultural amenities.
This is not a problem that will simply go away. Companies like Foxconn and Amazon look at quality of life factors when deciding where to locate their business. In order to bring jobs back to the area, we MUST improve our quality of life.
Today, it is my honor to announce SB 1018, SB 1019 and SB 1020; a package of legislation that will fix our revenue sharing problem. This issue affects EVERYONE equally: Republicans AND Democrats; rich and poor; urban and rural communities. In order for Michigan to achieve the next phase in “the comeback,” revenue sharing can no longer be a discretionary appropriation.
I would like to thank my colleagues in the House, Representative Hauck and Representative Frederick, for working with me on this critical funding issue. I look forward to working with members from both parties, in both chambers to enact this long overdue fix to revenue sharing!