The Michigan Municipal League is asking our League members to contact their state lawmakers today to oppose changes to the revenue sharing/Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP). These changes were approved in the House Appropriations General Government Subcommittee this morning (March 25, 2014) and are expected to go to the House floor this week for a vote. It’s imperative our members tell their legislators to oppose this action.
To learn about these proposed changes, read this blog post by the League’s Samantha Harkins.
When contacting your lawmakers here are some key points to make:
- The intent of revenue sharing dollars is to help communities fund essential services their residents desire, such as police and fire protection, water and sewer service, snow removal, infrastructure improvements, etc.
- The proposed changes would expand the EVIP program to nearly 1,500 local governments, including 1,035 townships.
- We question why the program is being expanded to local units of governments that don’t provide essential services that cities, villages and urban townships provide.
- The proposal changes how EVIP funds are distributed to a per capita formula. This formula would add hundreds of additional communities to the formula without any consideration of whether these communities provide essential services.
- The League is happy to have a discussion about the best way to get resources to our communities; however, a pure per capita distribution will have a detrimental effect on the many Michigan communities who provide essential services while rewarding those communities who do not.
- The proposal requires local units of government to commit increased EVIP funds to road maintenance and unfunded liabilities. This “one-size-fits-all-mentality” is the ultimate rebuff of local control. Local units of government are careful stewards of taxpayer dollars and know and understand the priorities of their community and residents. The Legislature dictating how funds are spent does not take into account other important needs for funding. Perhaps roads and unfunded liabilities are the best place for this money to be spent in one community but not another. That is up to the local community to decide.
The League appreciates all that you can do in sharing the concerns about this proposal. If you have any questions about this please contact the League’s Samantha Harkins at firstname.lastname@example.org and (517) 908-0306.