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.


08 Dec 16

Lame Duck, It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..NOT!!!

Earlier this month as part of the Lame Duck session, the State House introduced a package of bills that would have made changes to Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB).  This proved to be too big of an issue to tackle in such a short timeframe. Since the beginning of the League's municipal finance initiative and the launch of SaveMICity.org, we identified OPEB reform as necessary consideration.  Our goal for any proposed reforms was to ensure…

10 Nov 16

Michigan Voters Support Local Government Ballot Questions in November 8 Election

While most of the headlines and talk about Tuesday’s (Nov. 8, 2016) election results involved the Presidential race you may missed the fact that there were more than 300 ballot questions facing voters throughout the state. What’s even more impressive is about 86 percent of the 343 ballot proposals were approved, according to an in-depth look at the ballot questions by MIRS News. If you’re a MIRS subscriber you can read the article here. View…

09 Nov 16

League Returns to Flint for Investing in Michigan Communities Tour

The Michigan Municipal League's Anthony Minghine continued a statewide tour of Michigan communities Wednesday (Nov. 9, 2016) by being in Flint talking about the state's broken system for funding municipalities. It was the second stop in Flint in less than a month as the League also organized a municipal finance panel discussion in Flint on Oct. 25 with U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee. Minghine was part of a series of speakers participating in the "Investing in Michigan Communities:…


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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%.