The University of Michigan’s Ford School for Public Policy surveyed more than 1,300 city, village, township and county jurisdictions in 2012.
The question: Are funding levels sufficient for maintaining current and future services?
More than half of the men and women controlling local government purse strings said they’re finding ways to meet the need today.
“We think it’s because they’ve taken a lot of actions to deal with falling revenues. They’ve been cutting staffing, cutting services, working with other jurisdictions to share costs and services.”
Tom Ivacko is author of the Michigan Public Policy Survey. While there are those administrators who say they’re “holding their own” not all have faired so well.
“Fiscal health is continuing to decline for hundreds of jurisdictions.”
Tracking local government fiscal health over the last four years, Ivacko says half of local governments will tell you maintaining services today is tricky under the current funding system let alone providing those same services in the future.
“When we talk about improving services the outlook is even worse. This could include, for instance, faster police and fire response times or filling more potholes in streets. Most of Michigan’s local leaders think the system of funding local government is broken and needs significant reform.”
Leaders surveyed explain the bottom line is more money is needed to avoid additional cuts to public services.
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