Michigan townships are asking the state to pay the estimated $650,000 cost of a special election to replace former Republican U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, who resigned after an embarrassing six-week-long saga surrounding his failure to qualify for the ballot. A special primary is scheduled for Sept. 5 in the 11th Congressional District – which includes parts of Wayne and Oakland counties. “Townships and other local government entities in this congressional district have been hit particularly hard by property tax revenue declines and revenue sharing cuts,” Judy Allen, director of legislative affairs for the Michigan Townships Association, said in a statement Tuesday. “While the state may not be legally obligated to cover the cost of the special election, MTA believes it isn’t right for the significant election costs to be borne solely by struggling local governments.” The special election to serve the last two months of McCotter’s term was reluctantly called by Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration after a review of the U.S. Constitution and state law. Snyder has resisted suggestions that the state pay all or some of extra cost.
“The opportunities to do more appropriations are very, very limited between now and when the election would be held,” the Republican governor told reporters last week. Reminded that the state could reimburse local governments after the election, Snyder said he and lawmakers must be prudent with taxpayer dollars. “That was just unfortunate in terms of having to spend those dollars period,” he said. “But that was a consequence of the resignation and what the law requires.”