News Story

Detroit’s Per-Resident Revenue Sharing Haul More Than Double Most Other Towns’

Dem governor candidate complains revenue sharing is hurting Detroit

A Detroit Free Press reporter covering the Michigan Democratic Party gubernatorial debates tweeted: “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed slams revenue sharing arrangements that he says are hurting cities like Detroit. Michigan has ‘balanced its budgets on the back of municipalities’”

ForTheRecord says: Thanks to a political deal made in the 1990s, the city of Detroit receives an outsized share of state revenue sharing payments compared to other cities.

Detroit received $197.8 million in revenue sharing from the state in the 2017 fiscal year (the latest for which complete data is available). That was up from $172.5 million in FY 2012 and comes to $242.15 per resident. The 2017 amount came to $277.62 per resident.

By comparison, Grand Rapids received $20.4 million in the 2017 fiscal year, or $108.71 per resident. Ann Arbor received $10.8 million, or $94.68 per resident.

One portion of state revenue sharing is set by the state constitution, and the rest, called “statutory” revenue sharing, is determined by the Legislature. Statewide, local governments received $255 million in statutory revenue sharing in FY 2017. Detroit got 55 percent of this amount, or $141 million.

The formula for determining annual state revenue sharing payouts has become less generous over the past decade, but because state tax revenue has grown rapidly, Detroit is nevertheless getting more now than it did in 2012.