Government actions taken at the state level also affect production factors. Reduction in state general fund revenues earmarked for education has led to greater reliance on local property taxes for school expenditures. The result? Michigan has one of the highest property tax burdens in the nation.

Firms considering Downriver will necessarily take Michigan's overall business climate into consideration before formulating a decision. This also holds for firms already based in the area. Downriver is hurt overall by a poor state business climate and helped by improvements in the economy.

This study's purpose is not to analyze state economic policies which would improve Michigan's economic climate. That has been done elsewhere. But it is worth noting that the Grant-Thornton Annual Study of General Manufacturing Climates of the Forty-Eight Contiguous States of America has consistently ranked Michigan at or near the bottom of state listings nationwide. The study is based on factors such as consistent fiscal policies; employment costs; and the availability and productivity of resources. [6]

Studies like Grant-Thornton which underscore the unhealthy Michigan business climate likewise have negative implications for Downriver.

It is in the self-interest of Downriver community leaders to support efforts aimed at improving Michigan's economy. Despite six years of sustained nationwide economic growth, the state's economy remains one of the worst in the nation. Michigan's unemployment rate remains high, consistently near the top of the largest industrial states. The state's public education system placed 48th in one recent nationwide survey. Clearly, there is room for improvement. A stronger Michigan economy means greater possibilities for economic development Downriver.