Metro Detroit faces falling tax revenues

March 22, 2010 at 1:05 PM
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DETROIT, March 22 (UPI) -- Falling tax revenues in and around Detroit are forcing tough decisions on local municipalities, city managers and budget consultants said.

"We're in the process of creating a new normal. Local governments are just having to go through this process of saying, 'What can we afford to do now?' " said Eric Lupher, director of local affairs for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

In the "new normal," the city of Warren is contemplating closing library branches and Troy may cut its library, a nature center and a museum from its budget, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.

Dave Boerger, director of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, said, "it's not going to be the return to the kind of glory days we've seen in the past."

Some municipalities are looking into consolidation of fire and police services with neighboring cities. Others are regretting expenses approved before the recession hit that are now showing up as bills coming due.

"It's going to be continually difficult," said Keego Harbor City Manager Dale Stuart concerning about $1.2 million in expenses for a new city hall and a new public works building.

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