Local officials react to state policy innovation tying revenue sharing to dashboards and incentive funding

January 2012

In 2011, the state of Michigan implemented major policy changes in its statutory revenue sharing program, through which it distributes funding to a subset of Michigan's 1,856 local governments. The new policy replaced formula-based funding with an incentive program that uses revenue sharing to foster local government reform. The new program, called the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP), requires local governments to certify that they have met state-specified standards for "best practices" in three categories (accountability and transparency; intergovernmental collaboration; and employee compensation policies) in order to receive their full allotment of incentive-based funds. This report focuses on the first EVIP category (accountability and transparency) and examines how Michigan's local governments are responding to the state's incentive-driven push for local reform. The findings are based on statewide surveys of local government leaders in the Fall 2011 wave of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS).