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.


15 Feb 18

Dan Gilmartin and Catherine Bostick-Tullius Voice Infrastructure Concerns in D.C.

The state of city infrastructure was high on the agenda when League CEO Dan Gilmartin and League President Catherine Bostick-Tullius headed to Washington, D.C. recently for National League of Cities meetings, led by NLC CEO/Executive Director Clarence Anthony. Along with mayors and municipal league directors from across the country, Gilmartin and Bostick-Tullius were briefed on how cities are innovating in the area of infrastructure, and where cities need additional resources from federal partners to make…

14 Feb 18

Calling on Congress to Rebuild Infrastructure

President Trump recently released his administration's infrastructure proposal. It relies heavily on attracting a large amount of money from states, municipalities, and private investors to generate $1.5 trillion to upgrade the country's highways, airports, and railroads. The Trump plan further exacerbates Michigan's already broken system for funding infrastructure and municipal needs. The Michigan Municipal League supports the efforts of the National League of Cities as we all call on Congress to frame an infrastructure plan that…

23 Jan 18

Excellent media coverage for SaveMICity presentation in Traverse City

New: Watch Anthony Minghine's Traverse City presentation here The Michigan Municipal League's SaveMICity initiative received some excellent media coverage over the last few days over our presentation in Traverse City about the state's broken system for funding municipalities. The League's Anthony Minghine, Deputy Executive Director and COO, was in Traverse City Monday and today talking about the broken system and possible solutions to fix it. Minghine met with Traverse City area business leaders Monday afternoon…


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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%.