We help Michigan “thrive local” by working with communities using data and tools that support efficient delivery of the critical public services that safeguard the health, safety and welfare of Michigan residents.

What does thrive local mean?

It means having a safe community, a community that is thriving both economically and culturally and a community that is being run efficiently and effectively.

The MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy was created to help communities reach these goals. Launched in fall 2015, the Center works directly with communities to improve their fiscal health and help them thrive. The Center brings the experience and expertise of municipal finance professionals in both MSU Extension and MSU’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics together to deliver the latest applied research, tools and best practices to Michigan communities.

The Center has already worked closely with cities throughout Michigan, including Lansing, Detroit and Flint. Read more about the Center and the services the Center will offer in the coming year.

Featured Policy Paper

Cover of white paper

Michigan Tax Policy for the Incoming 2019 Gubernatorial Administration

April 19, 2018

This is paper one in the ongoing Michigan at a Crossroad Series. The purpose of this policy brief is to provide a concise summary of some of the most important features of the tax system in Michigan, along with a brief guide to some policy proposals.


Recent Policy Papers:

Michigan County Economic Data

Description of Michigan County Economic and Fiscal Indicators (Report) (PowerPoint)
The report and PowerPoint include economic, demographic and fiscal data for Michigan’s 83 counties. The data is the latest available as of June 2017, in most cases 2016 data.


Government Financial Sustainability Workgroup: September 28, 2017

Fiscal Sustainability: A Framework and the Detroit Example (E. Scorsone Michigan)
Government Financial Sustainability Workgroup (PEW Charitable Trusts PPT)
APA Identifying and Monitoring VA Locality Fiscal Distress (APA Commonwealth of Virginia)
Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (New York State)
Cross-country learning and accounting harmonization at the local level (European City Economic & Financial Governance)


For more information about the center, or how it can work with your community to improve its fiscal health, please contact Associate Director Mary Schulz at schulzm2@anr.msu.edu or (517) 355-2160.  

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