State 'Favor' to Jackson County Costs Millions

LaFaive says MDOC agreement unfair to taxpayers

A “favor” the Michigan Department of Corrections gave Jackson County has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, Fiscal Policy Director Michael LaFaive told The Jackson Citizen Patriot.

The MDOC has continued a contract with Jackson County, buying steam from the county’s incinerator to use at state prisons in Jackson, even though a 20-year contract between the two parties expired in 2007. The state kept the contract in place until this year, when bonds used to originally build the incinerator will be paid off. It would have been “unfair to leave the county with debt when they were trying to assist us,” a DOC spokesman told The Citizen Patriot as to why the state kept paying.

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LaFaive said it was “unfair” to taxpayers for the state to do that.

“Providing an inter-governmental courtesy at the expense of taxpayers is wrong,” he said. “The MDOC has been providing Jackson with a financial courtesy at the expense of taxpayers.”

The state had been paying the county $3.6 million annually, and $2.4 million a year since 2010, according to the newspaper.

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