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.
As part of the saveMIcity initiative we wanted to make sure you are aware of the effort in the Michigan House to eliminate the state income tax. Let’s face it, nobody likes to pay taxes. But we do like the services those taxes support – police and fire protection, road maintenance, schools, libraries, parks, street lighting, drinking water, and the list goes on and on. While it feels good to "cut" taxes, if the House ultimately…
The City of Romulus has 104 fewer employees than it did a decade ago. It has 17 fewer public safety officers and eight less full-time firefighters. It’s building and grounds program shifted from a full-time, in-house department to a seasonal, part-time workforce. The city even closed its library for several months until it was restructured and opened as a municipal library. Plus, it shut down all of its parks and recreational offerings for over three…
SaveMIcity's Anthony Minghine continued to spread the message about the state's broken system for funding municipalities by speaking to two statewide organizations last week. Minghine spoke to the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association in Grand Rapids Wednesday, Feb. 1, and also spoke briefly to the Michigan Municipal Executives in Kalamazoo on Thursday, Feb. 2. At both events, Minghine talked about how the state's system for funding our communities needs fixing. He also encouraged attendees to…
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%.