One of the biggest scams going on in Michigan is taxpayer funded lobbying. Government agencies are using your hard earned money to lobby for issues that you have no say in! The system allows for your tax money to pay professional lobbyists to lobby at the local and state level for higher taxes and more regulations.
For those who do not understand how government funded lobbying works, here is a quick example and breakdown, you pay your taxes that go to the local school board, and the local school board then takes that money and gives it to a non-profit group that can legally lobby on their behalf. Do you believe this does not happen in Michigan? Think again, it’s an immoral practice that viciously hurts the average Michigander.
A prime example of tax-payer funded lobbying in action is the Tri-County Alliance. According to their website, The Tri-County Alliance for Public Education “is a coalition of education leaders committed to fighting for strong K-12 schools in Michigan. We work hand in hand with education leaders across the state to achieve one common goal: Ensuring all Michigan children have access to a quality public education.” 
It sounds great in theory but the reality is much different, and Michigan Capitol Confidential makes it clear, “The 86 school districts in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County use public dollars to pay membership dues to the TCA. The TCA then uses that money to campaign and lobby, but only a handful of these districts end up reporting these membership dues as money spent on political lobbying.” 
Not only are districts paying for the Tri-County Alliance, but they are blatantly hiding it from their constituents. It is a shame that school districts refuse to disclose the amount of money they are paying to Tri-County Alliance for lobbying purposes.
One of these school districts involved in the TCA is Livonia Public Schools where they have recently asked for a $195 million bond to upgrade infrastructure throughout the classrooms, costing the average Livonia tax-payer another $158 per year.  $158 may not seem like a lot but this tax adds on to the unfair tax burden that already affects the average Michigander.
One may assume their tax dollars that go towards the school district would be enough to pay for books, instead of another bond. As of now, there is no way to prove that those hard-earned tax dollars are not enough for a school district to be sustainable, and we may never know because of the taxpayer funded lobbying laws surrounding the TCA.
Instead of using every last penny of tax-dollars to pay for teachers and supplies, school districts have decided to engage in direct taxpayer funded lobbying. When did we go from a “student’s first” mentality to a “bureaucracy first” mentality?
It is time for Michigan government agencies such as school boards to use the citizens’ money to benefit students, rather than promoting a cycle of crony-big government.
Email us here at the MI Prosperity Project if you oppose taxpayer funded lobbying and wish to see a change to the system.
 – “How taxpayers are funding political lobbying,” Michigan Capitol Confidential, 4/22/13
- “Dialog – Livonia Public Schools,” 5/13