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Michigan State House Speaker: No additional money for cash-strapped Detroit

State House Speaker Jase Bolger
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State House Speaker Jase Bolger

Republican state House Speaker Jase Bolger said Detroit should not anticipate more money from Michigan taxpayers to help fix the city’s financial troubles. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said this week that Lansing should keep a promise made in the 1990s to boost revenue sharing payments if the city cut its income tax.

Bolger said that promise did not come from any Republicans currently serving in Lansing, where lawmakers have made tough choices to balance the state budget.

“I was disappointed to hear him ask for more revenue … There’s difficult decisions that need to be made. I think he can make those decisions and we’re looking to him and the city council to make those decisions. But the state can’t stand by. Under no circumstances, should the city of Detroit fail.” said Bolger.

Bolger said the Legislature has already extended the city’s ability to levy taxes on income and utility bills, and offered local governments new options to reduce employee costs.

Governor Rick Snyder said he expects Mayor Bing will seek a state review of the city’s finances. That begins a process that could wind up with a state takeover of the city government.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.