Today I authorized Detroit's emergency manager to seek federal bankruptcy protection for the City of Detroit.
This is a difficult, painful step, and it is one I would not be authorizing if I felt any other viable option remained.
I'd like to take a moment to explain why I made that decision and what it means for the city --- and for the State of Michigan.
In many respects, this day has been six decades in the making. Detroit is buried under $18 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities. In fact, 38 cents of every city dollar goes toward debt repayment, legacy costs and other obligations. By 2017, that figure will go up to 65 cents per dollar.
That level of debt is unsustainable.
Meanwhile, the people of Detroit already pay the highest taxes per capita in Michigan. And the city's 700,000 residents don't receive the city services they deserve.
For Michigan to be a great state, Detroit needs to be a great city. And the simple fact is, Detroit is broke. By filing for bankruptcy, Detroit can get back on the right path. It can fix its finances. And it can focus on investing in city services so that Detroiters have a better quality of life. Better police and fire protection, trash pickup and street lighting.
We've been reinventing Michigan so it can be the comeback state of the nation. Now it's time to move Detroit forward, too.
News Release: Governor authorizes Detroit bankruptcy filing
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's Chapter 9 recommendation letter
Governor Snyder's Chapter 9 Authorization Letter