The Potential Impact of the 2000 Decennial Census on Population-Based Statutes:


A Report to the Michigan Law Revision Commission and Recommendation to the Legislature





As the population of the City of Detroit continues to hover at the 1 million level, the results of the 2000 decennial census may have a profound financial and legal impact on the City of Detroit.


In anticipation of the 1990 decennial census, the Michigan Law Revision Commission undertook a study in 1990 of population-based statutes affecting the City of Detroit. That report (available from the Legislative Service Bureau) highlighted the negative financial impact on the City of Detroit if the 1990 census revealed that Detroit's population had dropped below 1 million persons. It noted that the Senate Fiscal Agency estimated that Detroit would lose approximately $140 million in state revenue granted to cities with a population greater than 1 million.


That 1990 report also noted that the population-based statutes do not have fallback provisions in the event a city's population drops below 1 million. Thus, for example, the statutory authorization to municipalities with a population over 1 million to issue general obligations bonds would lapse. See M.C.L. § 117.35a.


In the end, the official 1990 population census for Detroit was 1,027,974, obviating the need for a legislative response to those population-based statutes affecting the City of Detroit.


In addition to the Commission's 1990 report, in 1995 the Legislative Service Bureau conducted an exhaustive survey of Michigan statutes that classify and grant authority to local governments based on a unit's population enumeration. The Bureau identified 328 sections of law encompassing 60 major subject areas. The results of the LSB's research are available in a report entitled Population in Statute: How the Numbers Affect Government, vol. 15, no. 2 (July 1995).



The 2000 Decennial Census.


The U.S. Census Bureau's population estimate for the City of Detroit as of July 1, 1996 is 1,000,272, a 2.7% decline from the 1990 census figure. If this downward trend continues, Detroit's 2000 population census will fall below 1 million. The following population-based statutes for cities with a population greater than 1 million will be impacted:


M.C.L. § 16.711 Appointment of one member to the Indian Affairs Commission


M.C.L. § 38.1140i Investment of assets of public employee retirement systems


M.C.L. § 117.5i Authority to finance snow removal and certain other services by special assessment


M.C.L. § 120.105 Appointment of two members to port authority


M.C.L. § 125.74 Requirement to adopt an ordinance governing selection of members to the blighted area Rehabilitation Citizen's District Council


M.C.L. § 125.583b Prohibition against licensing certain residential facilities within 3,000 feet of existing facilities


M.C.L. § 125.585 Requirement of two-thirds vote of members of boards and commissions to reverse order of administrative official


M.C.L. § 125.1607 Power of economic development corporation to combine costs of pollution control projects into single financing arrangement


M.C.L. § 125.1662 Power of downtown development authority to levy a 1 mill ad valorem tax


M.C.L. § 141.425 Requirement that city have an annual audit


M.C.L. § 141.503 Authority to levy and collect income tax of 2% on corporations, 3% on residents, and 1.5% on non-residents


M.C.L. § 141.1152 Authority to impose a city utility users tax


M.C.L. § 168.426a Nomination and election of municipal court judges


M.C.L. § 168.640 Special elections


M.C.L. § 207.655 Tax exemption of restored facility in an area covered by a tax increment financing plan adopted by a downtown development authority


M.C.L. § 213.321 Prohibition against establishing state agency relating to relocation assistance that removes citizen participation


M.C.L. § 324.11547 Eligibility for environmental protection planning grants


M.C.L. § 408.773 Provisions of Boiler Act inapplicable


M.C.L. § 431.68 Definition of "city area" in the racing law of 1980


M.C.L. § 487.505 Bank reserve requirements


M.C.L. § 559.241 Prohibition against conversion condominiums




Recommendation to the Legislature.


The Commission recommends that the Senate and House Committees with jurisdiction over the specific subject areas covered in the above-referenced statutes examine them in 1999.