Local Tax Dollars Used to Lobby for More Tax Dollars
Local Governments spend millions of dollars attempting to influence lawmakers for a variety of reasons.
Cities, counties, and the associations that represent them not only lobby lawmakers in an effort to gain local government aid, they also lobby to ensure that costs associated with the passage of new laws are not unfairly pushed onto the cities and counties tasked with enforcing the laws.
An audit of the most recent reporting year, 2011, shows local governments and associations spent $8.3 million dollars lobbying. That's a slight increase versus the prior year.
Political analysts say cities, counties, and townships have little choice but to lobby. Local governments are competing with special interests for access to lawmakers.
And with recent cuts to local aid and a $1.1 billion budget deficit, analysts say you should not expect a reduction in lobbying expenditures anytime soon.