Michigan County Government Survey: Services Provided to Local Government Summary Report


March 15, 2024 - Pei-Jyun Lee, Eric Scorsone, and <mskidmor@msu.edu>

The Michigan Association of Counties and Michigan State University Extension conducted a survey of county government officials to collect information regarding the number and types of services typically provided by cities, townships, and villages that are being provided by county governments. There are 83 counties in Michigan of which 48 completed surveys resulting in a 58% rate of response.

The report highlights six sets of services offered by county governments to other local units in Michigan, including public safety, assessor and property tax, planning, zoning, and economic development, financial reporting, IT support, and other services. Findings show that public safety is the most common type of service with 91% of responding counties extending such offerings to local governments within their jurisdiction boundaries. The sharing of financial reporting services is relatively uncommon, which is provided by fewer than 10% of these counties. County officials indicated that a variety of other services such as geographic information systems (GIS) services are provided to local governments.

Townships more than any other local unit type receive county provided services and these arrangements have been in place for more than 10 years generally. The provision of IT support services has more recently emerged, and this is the only service that counties share with other counties. Services are provided using contractual fees, no contract pro bono, or a combination of fees and pro bono with a roughly equal balance of the three arrangements across counties.



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