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Cities, townships, counties brace for rough couple years

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Members of the Michigan Municipal League gather for a Q & A session with Governor Rick Snyder on Thursday.

The next two or three years “are going to be rough” for local governments in Michigan. Governor Rick Snyder told a group of city managers and county executives he’s sensitive to that.

The main cause of budget problems for local governments is a declining tax base. Home values are down and there are fewer businesses since the recession. Townships, cities, and counties get most of their money from property taxes. 

Governor Snyder says he knows the tough times are not over for municipalities.

“The toughest times at the state level were the budget we just did because I believe we’re going to be in a positive position moving forward. But at the same time I understand you could have another one or two tough years, at least, and we need to find ways to work together and be supportive on it.”

The governor was in St. Joseph for an event hosted by the Michigan Municipal League.  He told the group of local government leaders that he will not force townships or cities to merge with one another. He says he next wants to focus on improving infrastructure, like roads, bridges and broadband internet access.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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