FOX 2 (WJBK) - If passed, a new law will provide incentives and tools to help lower crime rates throughout the state.
State Rep. Alabas Farhat, a lawmaker from Dearborn, is introducing the Public Safety and Violence Prevention trust fund.
The fund provides law enforcement and city leaders with existing sales tax revenue to combat crime. The allocation of money will vary based on the crime rate. However, if the crime rate fails to decrease, the funding will be reduced, serving as an incentive to achieve real results.
"All of this is really proactive and allows cities to control their own fate and to have the control they need to bring down crime," Farhat said. "This isn’t a new tax. You're not going to see any more price increase at the counter. This is just going to be using existing dollars, and committing them towards public safety and violence prevention."
Cities in Michigan will have access to approximately $100 million from a shared fund. This fund will be sourced from various projects and programs within the state's general fund. Farhat said the allocated funds for education will remain untouched.
"Right now, we're relying heavily on local revenue sharing and one-off projects through the budget," he said.
The amount of funding each city will receive is determined by its crime rate.
For example, 0.9% of Michigan's violent crime takes place in Dearborn, so this bill would allocate $900,000 to Dearborn. However, there is a maximum limit of 25% – so despite Detroit accounting for 33% of the violent crime in Michigan, the city would receive $25 million.
"There is a performance metric here," Farhat said. "If cities can’t bring down violent crime within five years, there will be a reduction in dollars they get. So the goal here is to see numbers come down, not just increase spending."
As for what the money will be used for, that is up to each city to decide.
The bill passed in the House this month by a vote of 88 to 21. It now goes to the Senate, which reconvenes in January.