LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT/ AP) — A partial victory has been won by local governments in the Michigan appeals court in a dispute over how the state government gives tax dollars to communities.
The constitution requires that local governments get 48.9 percent of all state spending. But when the state makes that calculation, the appeals court says it can’t count money that pays for state-mandated activities.
This week, said the state can count aid to school districts and charter schools as payments to local governments.
The court also ordered state government to publish information about the cost of state mandates. The court says the state has undermined the “role of taxpayer oversight.”
Attorney John Philo says local governments have been squeezed for years by “accounting tricks” in the capital and it likely adds up to hundreds of millions of dollars.
A Supreme Court appeal by either side is possible.
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