State Payments To City Hold Steady, Mayor Claims They’re ‘Abandoned’

And payments are projected to increase over the next two years

The city of Kalamazoo recently received a $500 million donation from local businessmen William Parfet and William Johnston.

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell told Michigan Radio that the city needed private aid to get out of debt because the state of Michigan was abandoning cities.

“And the state of Michigan, in my opinion, has abandoned cities overall and not investing back into our cities ... through state shared revenue,” Hopewell told Michigan Radio.

State revenue sharing distributes a portion of state sales tax revenue to local governments. This fiscal year, the total amount distributed statewide is projected to be $1.278 billion. Some $798 million of this is mandated by the state constitution, and the rest is subject to the discretion of the Legislature and governor in annual budget bills.

ForTheRecord says: Mayor Hopewell’s use of the word “abandoned” implies that the state has severely reduced revenue sharing with the city of Kalamazoo or even stopped it entirely.

That’s not accurate.

Here’s how much state revenue sharing was collected by the city of Kalamazoo from 2010 through 2018 (projected) for the last nine years.

2010: $8,595,042

2011: $8,595,042

2012: $7,833,828

2013: $8,123,705

2014: $8,380,905

2015: $8,554,443

2016: $8,549,024

Estimated 2017: $8,837,183

Estimated 2018: $8,910,525

While state revenue sharing payments have been generally level from 2010-2016, they are projected to increase in 2017 and 2018.

That’s not abandonment.

The city's General Fund budget was $55.3 million in 2016.