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.


16 Nov 17

OPEB/Retiree Health Care Reform Work Explained by Michigan Municipal League

The reform of retiree health care (OPEB) is one of the key topics the Michigan Municipal League's Anthony Minghine discusses during his many SaveMIcity presentations. Reforming this issue is vital to efforts to fix Michigan's broken system for funding municipalities. The League has been working on this issue and here is an update about it from the League's Chris Hackbarth, director of state and federal affairs. This is also posted on the League's legislative blog,…

13 Nov 17

Voters Approval of New Tax Dollars Greatly Appreciated, But Requests are Further Proof of Broken Municipal Finance System

Due to the state’s continual disinvestment in local communities, local taxpayers were once again asked to step up to the plate and approve tax-related proposals during the recent Nov. 7 election. And, according to MIRS News Service, 75 percent of the tax questions seeking new money were approved. This is consistent with past elections where roughly 75 to 80 percent of tax-related questions are approved by voters. Having such large support for local tax questions…

22 Sep 17

SaveMICity Initiative Goes to West Michigan; Up Next Saline and Macomb County

The Michigan Municipal League’s saveMIcity initiative recently did two presentations in West Michigan about the state's broken system for funding municipalities. More presentations are planned in Macomb County and Washtenaw County. On Sept. 19, the League’s Anthony Minghine, Deputy Director and COO,  spoke to dozens of people for a presentation with West Michigan city managers and community administrators and an evening community event in Paw Paw. The presentations were about municipal finance and how the…


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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%.