More fake “concessions” by Rick Snyder and Michigan Republicans

I’ve written in the past (HERE and HERE) about how Rick Snyder uses a tactic of making draconian cuts to specific programs then dials it back a bit (but not all the way, of course) and calls it a “concession”.

Well, he’s doing it again:

As part of his agenda to reinvent Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder reshaped revenue sharing, a pot of money for cities, counties and townships to pay for everything from police and fire service to road repairs. He kept one-third of the pot of money intact and cut $100 million — about one third — to help balance the budget.

He put the remaining third into an incentive pool that communities could compete for by meeting three criteria:

  • Consolidate or share services with other communities.
  • Institute an 80-20 split for employee health care costs, with communities picking up 80% and employees paying 20%. And switch from a defined contribution to a defined-benefit pension plan.
  • Make financial data readily available (preferably online) for residents.

Qualifying for the money will just be a matter of signing a form and providing additional documentation to the state, said Summer Minnick, spokeswoman of the Michigan Municipal League.

“The Treasury Department doesn’t have to certify it,” she said. “As long as the community administrators sign the form, they’ll get the money.”

See what he did there? He reduced the amount of tax money sent back local municipalities by 2/3. Then, by simply signing a form saying they’re trying to be more efficient, they get a third back. In the end, their revenue sharing revenues, tax monies collected locally and sent to the state and the returned to them by the state, is reduced by one-third. But, in the New World State Order of Rick Snyder’s Michigan, that’s a concession!

At a time when so many Michigan municipalities are struggling to keep solvent so they don’t get assigned an Emergency Manager, are cutting vital services, revenue sharing reductions which were used to fund an 86% tax break for businesses are just one more kick in the teeth by Michigan Republicans.

Pissed off yet? If not, you’re not paying attention.

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  • aielman

    Outside of questionable and possibly illegal concessions/contracts to corporations on this, which I’m willing to concede should be investigated, I’m still struggling to see what the problem is.

    You have a shortfall. It must be met. You have a large number of very small, closely packed together, communities that don’t fall under incorporation of the larger communities near them (something quite common in the northeast and midwest), and they are providing expensive, redundant services and doing a crappy job of it financially.

    What other solution do you have to prop up this flawed model? Why isn’t it better to incorporate some of these small, failing communities into the larger ones surrounding them, or at the very least group them together so they can pool resources? Why isn’t it better to provide things like school, fire and police services in a block to multiple communities and get the large discounts afforded to large regional or state entities, rather then pay the higher price for these high ticket price services, multiple times over, for a bunch of tiny communities.

    I mean, keep the mayor…keep the council…make decisions on other community items that you collect taxes for. But leave these highly expensive, union driven industries to a larger group…either a larger metropolitan center, or just group them together as a co-op.

    As an example, we have many small school districts here in Florida, and around the country, that group together to provide expensive infrastructure like IT, for example. It’s just far more cost efficient. I buy the same servers that cost $8k to a tiny school district with half a dozen schools for $5k…because we supply 172 schools and 5 regional offices.

    This isn’t an issue of political ideology. It’s a plain fact. We have to stop spending like we have an unlimited credit card. No matter how much we’d like to have the government provide services, how important they seem, or whose life will be worse without them, the government MUST be able to pay for them. Our country owes more than it can make in a single year. More than our entire GDP, and that’s just at the federal level. We will cease to exist as a nation if we don’t reign this in. And we don’t seem to be able to do it without having our backs against the wall. And you can’t just raise taxes…not now…not with this economy. You’ll just make it implode faster.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      When they weaken local communities and other groups to pay for an 86% tax cut for businesses, I have a BIG problem with it. But my complaint here is their approach and making it look like they’re making concessions. They aren’t.

      • aielman

        I do too…unless those tax cuts bring other benefits down the road. Corporate taxes are the biggest tax on the middle class and poor there are.

  • Pingback: Michigan Republicans on course to cut income taxes by an astonishing 0.1% (after raising them 23% last year) | Eclectablog()

  • Pingback: Michigan Republicans on course to cut income taxes by an astonishing 0.1% (after raising them 23% last year) | Eclectablog()

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