Michigan governor declares fiscal emergency for Detroit

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of fiscal emergency for the struggling city of Detroit today, paving the way for state takeover.

“Citizens are not getting the services they deserve and need,” Snyder said at an afternoon press conference, according to the Associated Press. ”Public safety, lighting, transportation — all those areas need help and it’s time to call all hands on deck and say let’s all work together.”

The struggling city faces a $327 million budget deficit, and more than $14 billion in long-term liabilities, including underfunded pensions.

The declaration starts the process for Snyder to appoint an emergency manager for the city. Detroit would be the largest city in the country to be taken over by the state, and the sixth city in Detroit, AP reported.

Detroit now has a 10-day appeals process, but Snyder can turn down an appeal from the city and told AP he already has a candidate for emergency manager in mind, though he declined to say who that person is.

Today’s declaration affirms Forbes’ decision to name Detroit the most miserable city in the country for 2013. In addition to financial emergency, Detroit residents — what’s left of them— must deal with the highest violent crime rate in the country. And as if that wasn’t enough, home prices were off 35 percent in the last three years, the worst drop in the country.

As Detroit Mayor Dave Bing told Forbes when its list came out, “Right now, it’s all about survival.”

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