Great places make for a strong economy, and the research supports that contention. By employing community-based placemaking strategies, we strengthen both our economic and social future. The League believes that at the heart of great places are strong cities. Across the country, cities account for over 80 percent of GDP, but in Michigan we have failed to invest in this vital resource.

After years of working within the existing paradigms, the League is undertaking a major legislative and policy push aimed at reforming municipal finance in Michigan to encourage renewed investment in our communities. This is intended to be an examination of how we can do things differently in Michigan to assure that local government can’t just survive, but can thrive. To that end, the League will be developing policy recommendations around three themes: Cost Containment, Revenue Enhancement, and Structure of Government.

We are taking this approach to break away from the historically limiting tactic of incremental change within the context of where we are today. We need new ideas, innovative approaches, and bold action to create a new future for communities around Michigan.

Is this an issue that you care about and would like to have a discussion about locally? The League will work with you to plan an event in your hometown with community groups, local chambers of commerce, local media, etc. Just contact us and we will provide resources and/or a speaker to help foster the discussion.


A Broken System

Michigan has the most abysmal record for investing in local government. It’s worse than any state in the nation, and this directly relates to our ability to provide great services and create the places we all know are needed to be competitive in a global economy. We must reform our system to invest in what matters most: our communities.


14 Apr 17

Six West Michigan Mayors Team with Michigan Municipal League for SaveMICity Financial Health Forum

  (View more photos here on flickr and have SaveMICity come to your community by emailing us at mbach@mml.org.) Six West Michigan cities teamed up with the Michigan Municipal League recently to discuss the state’s funding system for municipalities during a public forum that took place Wednesday, April 12. Hosted by the Urban Metro Mayors and Managers, or UMMM, the Community Financial Health Forum explored municipal funding, ways to improve the current system and local impact…

11 Apr 17

See How Much Revenue Sharing Dollars the State Has Diverted from Your Community

The state of Michigan has now diverted more than $8.1 billion in revenue sharing from Michigan municipalities, including cities, villages, townships and counties since 2002. This new figure adds in 2016 financial data and dates back to 2002. Through 2015 the total was $7.5 billion in diverted revenue sharing dollars and the new figure now reflects the most recent 2016 data. How much in revenue sharing has your community lost? You can look up that figure…

08 Mar 17

Hillsdale Economics Professor Writes About Importance of Revenue Sharing

There is a fascinating and important guest column in today’s Detroit News with the headline “Revenue sharing boosts Michigan communities.” This column by conservative Hillsdale College Economics Professor Gary Wolfram echoes many of the messages in our saveMIcity municipal reform effort. Wolfram  is the William Simon professor of economics and public policy director of economics at Hillsdale College. Please check out his column. The column is based on an in-depth research study that Wolfram and the Hillsdale…


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That according to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2002 – 2012 revenues for the State of Michigan increased 29%, but revenues the state provided to local government for local services like police, fire, and recreation, decreased by more than 56%.