By Ian Perrotta
The rest of Michigan owes Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski a big thanks.
A few weeks ago, the state’s House General Government Committee passed a budget with a 3.1 percent cut to statutory revenue sharing. But last week, during a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee, the mayor’s testimony helped convince the committee to reject the proposed bill.
Even better, after her impassioned speech, as well as input from Andy Schor, Assistant Director of the Michigan Municipal League’s (MML) State Affairs division, the Appropriations Committee voted to return the level of statutory revenue sharing to its current amount. Moreover, they voted to increase revenue sharing by 1 percent.
Though nothing is certain, it looks like the measure will pass.
According to Summer Minnick, director of the MML’s State Affairs division, Majewski’s speech was instrumental in convincing the committee that communities have already suffered enough through previous cuts to revenue sharing.
“We believe having Mayor Majewski testify, in particular, went a long way in convincing the committee that our communities have already suffered enough,” she wrote on the MML’s web page on March 19.
The proposed increase in funding will be paid for by closing various loopholes in the tax structure, which stands to bring in an additional $26 million from tax revenue. And though a 1 percent increase doesn’t sound like much, it’s better than nothing – or less than nothing, which would have been the case had the original budget not been struck down, Majewski said.
“Any kind of money helps the city,” says Majewski. “The thing is, we’re losing money from so many sources, and the legislation is trying to reduce funding even more, so this is just another source of funding that would have been reduced. We’re just trying to stop the bleeding.”