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Center for Local Government Finance & Policy

Department of Community Sustainability



  • A brief history of disincorporation and consolidation in Michigan

    Published on October 7, 2021
    “To be, or not to be, that is the question”. Residents of some Michigan municipalities have contemplated and others chosen to cease to exist—discorporate, and unify –consolidate into a new governmental entity. How to know when to vote this question?

  • New Federal Water Money Like the Old Money

    Published on September 20, 2021
    We may be for the first time taking real steps toward water security. The new water assistance program could provide the federal support needed to keep water taps flowing and community water providers in the black.

  • MSU Extension, regional partners to provide guidance for local governments on American Rescue Plan Act spending

    Published on September 15, 2021
    In partnership with member regions of the Michigan Association of Regions, MSU Extension educators are offering 14 workshops exploring Local Fiscal Recovery Fund spending opportunities in a regional context.

  • Resources on Federal Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund for Michigan Local Governments

    Published on August 2, 2021
    Quick links to resources on the Federal Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund for Michigan local governments. What is CLFRF? What’s my allocated funding amount? How to request funding. Eligible uses. National and Michigan CLFRF additional resources.

  • Drinking Water 1-2-3 Guide for Local Officials and Community Leaders

    Published on July 28, 2021
    This guide is a manual that provides information about water resource management, service, infrastructure and planning. It helps you identify important strategies and actions for you and your community to take today.

  • Compliance and Reporting Guidance: State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

    Published on June 24, 2021
    US Treasury guidance providing details and clarification for each recipient’s compliance and reporting responsibilities under the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

  • What are Michigan’s Community Water System Infrastructure Needs?

    Published on April 29, 2021
    Millions of dollars of federal funds for local governments will begin arriving next month and investing in the upkeep of our drinking water systems is encouraged.

  • State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972

    Published on April 5, 2021
    Federal revenue sharing, what’s that? Most leaders of Michigan’s local governments may not have any memory of federal revenue sharing, since it was last available to localities in 1986. Could it be reestablished? It sure can.

  • 2020 Michigan County Allocated Tax Rates

    Published on March 15, 2021
    The Michigan county allocated tax rates are provided annually as supplemental resources for the Guide to Michigan County Government 5th Edition discussion of millage distribution methods on page 17 in Chapter 7, General Property Tax Revenue.

  • Biden Stimulus Plan to Aid Michigan Local Finances and Economies

    Published on March 11, 2021
    Michigan localities will share $4.4 billion in federal fiscal recovery aid. The stimulus package is expected to support some 43,000 Michigan jobs with annual labor earnings of nearly $3.6 million and increase gross state product by $6.7 billion.

  • A Big Picture Look at Local Governments Finances

    Published on March 9, 2021
    One year into the pandemic and the local government financial picture is still fuzzy…with 300,000 fewer jobs but property tax revenues are up over 5%. What’s not unclear is the COVID-19 relief stimulus for local government will be welcomed.

  • Federal Funds for Michigan’s Water Providers

    Published on March 1, 2021
    A new federal low-income water assistance program will be launched to help households with unaffordable water bills and water bill debt and support local water provider affordability program efforts to address chronic unaffordability.

  • A Greater Detroit

    Published on February 24, 2021
    If Ecorse, Hamtramck, and Highland Park approach the brink of insolvency in the future, the State should consider responding not by canceling local democracy, but by requiring that a vote be held on dissolution and consolidation into Detroit.

  • A Greater Detroit

    Published on February 19, 2021
    Should Ecorse, Hamtramck, and Highland Park approach the brink of insolvency in the future, the State should consider responding not by canceling local democracy, but by requiring that a vote be held on dissolution and consolidation into Detroit.

  • Imagine Michigan Household Faucets Never Running Dry

    Published on January 19, 2021
    Imagine our community water systems providing sustainable and continuous access to affordable and clean drinking water for their service area population. We will examine institutions, rules, and processes that govern community drinking water systems.

  • Assessing Existing Local Government Fiscal Early Warning System through Four State Case Studies: Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania

    Published on December 20, 2020
    This report presents detailed explanations, tradeoffs and outcomes of four existing ratio indicator systems. We assert that there is no one optimal system, only the right system based on the perceived needs of policymakers in that particular location.

  • Welcome to the Thrive Local Blog

    Published on December 15, 2020
    We will discuss issues relevant to local democracy and government at the intersection of law, finance and politics. Topics we will explore are chosen to assist local officials and residents to make decisions in their best interest and for the common good.

  • Local Government Financial Vulnerability: New Tools for Identifying and Tracking Challenges

    Published on December 8, 2020
    The onset of a major pandemic-induced recession has presented a second wave of fiscal problems for local governments. State and local governments are seeking out new tools to assess fiscal risk and vulnerability and to chart new options moving forward.

  • Local Government Resources for Novel Coronavirus Response

    Published on August 18, 2020
    We are also asking for feedback from you and your community to help us understand how MSU Extension can provide support and educational resources now and in the future.

  • Elections and COVID-19

    Published on July 6, 2020
    Safe voting during a pandemic.