The right to criticize government is also an obligation to know what you are talking about.
-Lent Upson, 1st Executive Director of CRC
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- Citizens Research Council analyzes school pension puzzle
Lansing State Journal, May 26, 2013
Summarizes State Budget Note 2013-01
- Report finds inflation, retirement costs eating up increases in education funding
WMUK, May 24, 2013
A new report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan finds that increases to K-12 spending in the state hasn't resulted in additional dollars in the classroom. [Radio Interview]
- Report: Retirement Costs Cutting Into Education Spending
Gongwer News Service, May 22, 2013
Growing contributions to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System are reducing what school districts can spend on other educational services and that effect is likely to continue for the near term, the Citizens Research Council said in a report released Wednesday.
- Pensions erode Michigan school funding
WMUK, May 22, 2013
A new report says Michigan's public schools have less to spend educating students because of rising teacher retirement costs. The Citizens Research Council says retirement now eats up nearly 15 percent of the money districts get per-student. That's up from only about nine percent in 2004.
- Three reasons why you should want to know your hometownís fiscal score
Bridge Magazine, May 18, 2013
Guest Commentary by Eric Lupher
- Should Detroit City Council full-time pay, car and phone perks be cut in fiscal crisis?
Detroit Free Press, May 12, 2013
Detroit paid $17.41 per capita for its City Council in 2010, before two years of cuts that shrank the councilís budget to $10.7 million last year. Detroit, by far, has the highest expenses in the state, said Bettie Buss, senior research associate at the independent, nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan. Buss is compiling a report on spending for 24 Michigan cities with populations of 50,000 or more, based on data from the citiesí annual financial reports to the state and 2010 census figures.
Analysis: Detroit raises large sums with high tax rates
Bridge Magazine, April 17, 2013
With Michiganís largest city now under the direction of an emergency manager, statewide attention has focused on the city of Detroitís finances. The Citizens Research Council, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research firm, has published an analysis of the cityís fiscal structure and trends -- Detroit City Government Revenues. This report attempts to address a number of important questions to help readers be better able to develop and assess proposed policy solutions for Detroitís fiscal crisis (a study of Detroitís expenditures will be published by CRC shortly).
- City, county officials urge revamp of Michigan's municipal funding system
Detroit News, April 8, 2012
Regardless of the options, no one seems to be championing local government reform in the Legislature, said Eric Lupher, director of local affairs at the Citizens Research Council, a nonprofit public affairs research organization in Lansing.
"The Legislature is more worried about the state's problems than the local governments' problems," Lupher said. "It really is going to require somebody to champion it, somebody to take this on. A lot of small voices isn't raising enough awareness. It's going to take a policy leader."
- Deepening revenue crisis leaves city no painelss options
Detroit Free Press, April 4, 2013
Take the new report from the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council analyzing Detroit's revenue. It's the latest in a series of CRC reports on Detroit's finances; previous reports looked at the city's legacy costs and indebtedness, government expenditures, and municipal government's accounting and operational structure.
- The Detroit City Revenue Story
WDET, April 3, 2013
To get a better grasp of Detroit's fiscal issues, the Craig Fahle Show looks at a recent report on the city's revenue. Bettie Buss of Citizens Research Council of Michigan describes Detroit's revenue structure, how it has changed over the years, and how it compares to other Michigan cities.
- Detroit Deficits Continue Despite Relatively High Revenues
Gongwer News Service, April 1, 2013
Detroit takes in more revenue, both total and per capita, than most of its counterparts, but still has managed to overspend those revenues every year since 2003, a report from the Citizens Research Council said.
- Detroit taxes high, but spending is higher -study
Reuters, April 1, 2013
Detroit residents pay the highest local taxes on a per capita basis compared to other Michigan municipalities, while the city collects the biggest chunk of state shared revenue, according to an analysis released on Monday.
The report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a public policy group, comes just days after a state-appointed emergency manager stepped in to try and resolve Detroit's fiscal problems. The council found that Detroit's tax rates -- including property, income and other local taxes -- are high versus other Michigan cities.
- All eyes on Stockton as judge OKs bankruptcy
NBCNews.com, April 1, 2013
"Weíre very hopeful that Detroit can avoid bankruptcy," said Bettie Buss, senior research associate at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. Having a bankruptcy expert handle the cityís books and negotiate with creditors, however, "gives the discussions... more urgency," she said. If creditors know bankruptcy is an option, they could be more motivated to negotiate.
- Michigan economy on the comeback trail
UpperMichigansSource.com, March 22, 2013
At Northern Michigan University Thursday, the President of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Jeffery Guilfoyle said the state is making a comeback, but there's still a long way to go.
- Handshake deal with state haunts Detroit
Bridge Magazine, March 15, 2013
Fifteen years ago, Archer made the deal to avert looming cuts in revenue sharing, a mainstay of local governments, according to news accounts from the period and the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which has studied the agreement.
- Report: Detroit has 40% of Michigan cities' unfunded liabilities
Detroit News, March 15, 2013
His report reaches a conclusion similar to one of a 2011 study of county benefits by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan that found unfunded liabilities are "a government finance issue in need of attention."
- History suggests Detroit bid to avoid state takeover is futile
WHTC 1450 AM, March 10, 2013
Bettie Buss, a senior research associate at the public-policy group Citizens Research Council of Michigan, agrees it would be an uphill battle.
"Essentially, (the court has) to find it was an abuse of power and that has simply not happened," she said.
- Denial in Detroit is undermining progress
MLive.com, March 8, 2013
In fact, the cityís short-term cash flow problems and its historical structural imbalances--which the respected Citizens Research Council of Michigan (crcmich.org) and an independent Financial Review team indicated are in the billions--went virtually unaddressed.
- Can Detroit Be Saved?
NPT, March 2, 2013
Just how far gone is Detroit? Eric Lupher, director of local affairs for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, sums it up like this: "The city could stop doing all of its current operations today -- no more police and fire, no more garbage collection, no more street lights -- and the city would still have billions of dollars of debt and promises made for future payments that it would have to pay."
- Detroit's mayoral hopefuls need to check their math
Detroit Free Press, February 28, 2013
Skeptics need not rely on the state-appointed review team's report. Independent analysts from Michigan State University to the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council have made similar findings, based on the city's audited financial statements.
- The time is now for school funding debate
Heritage Newspapers, February 25, 2013
The proposed rewrite of the school aid formula "does raise a number of questions that may require study," said Jeffrey Guilfoyle, president of the non-partisan and highly respected Citizens Research Council. "The foundation allowance represents the average cost of educating a child. If you are going to allow the foundation allowance to be split, it raises all types of pricing questions."
- Tax burden, low property values lead to exodus of Detroit residents
Detroit News, February 21, 2013
That leaves less money to fund services, said Bettie Buss, a senior researcher at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan and a former budget analyst for Detroit.
"The city for years has tried to figure out how to push the cost of current obligations to the future, but unfortunately, revenues are going down," Buss said. "That made it harder to push off costs."
- Experts foresee financial takeover of Detroit
Detroit News, February 19, 2013
Scorsone and Bettie Buss of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan said the real issue for Detroit is the billions of dollars it owes in liabilities, pensions and retiree health care.
- Michigan's current fuel taxes place it in the national top 10
MLive.com, February 7, 2013
Michigan last raised its fuel taxes in 1997, moving it from 15 cents to 19 cents (technically 18.715) for gasoline. In the interim, the buying power of those 19 cents -- for asphalt, steel and the other elements of road construction and repair -- has eroded. The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council noted in a 2011 report that had the 19-cent levy kept pace with inflation, it would now be 27 cents.
- Vote appears likely on Saugatuck-Douglas merger
9&10 News, February 3, 2013
Saugatuck and Douglas are hiring the Citizens Research Council of Michigan to complete a study by April. The Detroit-area group is an independent organization that studies state and local government.
- Many Detroit residents challenging city's claim they owe income taxes
Detroit News, February 4, 2013
Some missteps are to be expected as the city works on new ways to collect more revenues, said Bettie Buss, a former budget official for the city of Detroit and senior research associate with the Citizens Research Council of Michigan in Livonia.
"To some extent, what we're seeing is the city is finally actually starting to do something about it and part of it is going to be cleaning up their records and cleaning up their information management system," Buss said. "Everything depends on the accuracy of record-keeping. And record keeping has been one of those areas where Detroit has historically had challenges."
- Saugatuck, Douglas look at spending $10,000 for consolidation study
Holland Sentinel, January 25, 2013
"Theyíre going to be unbiased," Saugatuck Mayor Bill Hess said about the Livonia-based nonprofit Citizens Research Council of Michigan. "It will give our citizens the information they need to make a decision."
- Focus on teaching our teachers
Detroit News, January 24, 2013
Highlighting the value of teachers fits well with other recent reports. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan came out with a study a year ago that called for more attention to the training of teachers. And Gov. Rick Snyder has made this a priority as well and has requested teaching programs toughen their core requirements, among other measures.
- Substance abuse expert: Increased marijuana use will lead to more crowded prisons
MLive.com, January 7, 2013
However, it is not true that a high percentage of Michiganís inmates are in prison for drug offenses. According to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, only 9 percent are in prison for drug crimes, while 44 percent are there for violent crimes; 24 percent are there for sex crimes; 23 percent are there for non-violent crimes.
- Political fallout from RTW deal yet to land
Bridge Magazine, January 8, 2013
According to the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, opponents would have to file petitions with signatures of registered voters equal to 8 percent of total votes cast in the last gubernatorial election for a statutory initiative. (By contrast, a referendum requires 5 percent.)
- Critics expected to test Michigan's new emergency manager law at ballot box, in court
Mlive Kalamazoo, January 2, 2013
"Local units will obviously have more choice under the new law," said Bettie Buss, a senior researcher for the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan. "But how the state administers this choice is the thing that remains to be seen."
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Last Updated May 13, 2013