LANSING – State Representative Fred Durhal III (D-Detroit) blasted a Republican move that would significantly cut state revenue sharing to Detroit today, an effort to redistribute state dollars to other municipalities. Michigan distributes a portion of its sales tax revenue to local governments and limits their taxing powers as a tradeoff. Since Gov. Rick Snyder took office and Republicans gained the majority in both chambers of the Legislature, revenue sharing has remained at 30 percent of full funding levels. The Republican plan would take $5.8 million away from Detroit, sending it to other communities.
“Michigan shouldn’t be picking winners and losers here,” said Durhal. “I am appalled by my colleagues in the Republican leadership who feel that we should be giving more dollars elsewhere at the expense of Michigan’s largest city and economic hub. Instead we should be properly funding revenue sharing for every Michigan city, village and township.”
Detroit is now just getting out of Chapter 9 bankruptcy, thanks to the bipartisan Grand Bargain. Detroit’s debt problems were due in large part to a shrinking economy and population, but also decades of state cuts to local government funding for Detroit. A 2013 Detroit Free Press report found that the state has cut revenue sharing to the city by 48 percent. Now that the largest city in Michigan is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, Durhal is outraged by the decision to take funding away and give to other communities.
“Detroit is the keystone for our whole state’s economy,” Durhal said. “That was the mentality behind getting it out of bankruptcy. Now that our state’s largest city is starting to get back on track, this unfair redistribution will hinder the plan of adjustment, while harming the people of Detroit and our entire state with it.”
The House version of the budget, along with these cuts, are now on the full floor of the House.