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.


12 Jun 17

Municipal Finance Reform Panel at Mackinac on YouTube

The League's Anthony Minghine and Rosalynn Bliss were part of a very informative panel discussion at the recent Mackinac Policy Conference - Funding Michigan Cities: The Path Forward. The complete session is now available on YouTube. Minghine and Bliss, along with Joshua Sapotchine, associate professor at Michigan State University, discussed how local communities are the state's economic drivers, with metropolitan areas accounting for 89 percent of the state's jobs and 88 percent of gross domestic product.…

02 Jun 17

Broken Municipal Finance System Discussed at Mackinac Policy Conference, SBAM Event and News Conference

The Michigan Municipal League and the saveMIcity initiative was involved in three major events in recent days to spread the word about Michigan's broken system for funding municipalities. League staff and League President Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor of Grand Rapids, attended the Mackinac Policy Conference 2017 hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber. Bliss, along with the League's Anthony Minghine, participated  in a extremely successful panel discussion sponsored by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The session was attended by hundreds…

08 May 17

SaveMIcity Takes Broken System Message to Mt. Pleasant, Alma, Clare, Muskegon, Grand Haven and Spring Lake

  The Michigan Municipal League’s saveMIcity initiative was involved in multiple presentations so far this month in central and west Michigan about the state’s broken system for funding municipalities. The League’s Anthony Minghine spoke to more than 125 people in a string of meetings in Alma, Mt. Pleasant and Clare last week and is speaking to dozens more in events in Spring Lake, Grand Haven and Muskegon this week. Minghine talked to Rotary clubs in Alma and…


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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%.