Michigan has too much government, too many "local units" that survive mainly because local people refuse to give them up and state officials are wary of the political consequences of taking them away. It's an inefficient system, and the tax dollars to support it are no longer there.
But it won't change in a serious way unless the state -- or a lack of money from the state -- starts forcing the issue. Some local governments do share resources and services, but too often Herculean bargaining is required to make such arrangements work. Nobody wants to surrender anything, even if it means saving the taxpayers money. And there are just too many governments to begin with.
Michigan has 83 counties, 533 cities or incorporated villages and 1,242 townships. There also are 781 public school districts, including 229 charter schools, which receive tax dollars.
A good question to ask about all those numbers is why? Next ask, how much does it all cost and how well does it really deliver?
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Ron Dzwonkowski has a good editorial about the massive amount of government in Michigan. With the budget shortfalls in this state, this is an option that needs to be considered.