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 Mar 17

Hillsdale Economics Professor Writes About Importance of Revenue Sharing

There is a fascinating and important guest column in today’s Detroit News with the headline “Revenue sharing boosts Michigan communities.” This column by conservative Hillsdale College Economics Professor Gary Wolfram echoes many of the messages in our saveMIcity municipal reform effort. Wolfram  is the William Simon professor of economics and public policy director of economics at Hillsdale College. Please check out his column. The column is based on an in-depth research study that Wolfram and the Hillsdale…

27 Feb 17

Crain’s and Bridge Magazine Focus on Fixes to Broken Municipal Finance System

The Michigan Municipal League's Dan Gilmartin has a warning for Michigan's policymakers: The way the state funds its cities is squeezing them dry. An in-depth article jointly posted by Crain's Detroit Business and Bridge Magazine, extensively quotes Gilmartin, the League's CEO and executive director, as well as the League's Anthony Minghine, COO and associate executive director. Gilmartin  says that local governments across the state need to do a better job at sharing services and cutting…

27 Feb 17

Large Crowd for saveMIcity event in Romulus

ROMULUS, Michigan - Upward of 70 people attended a highly successful saveMIcity municipal finance forum in Romulus Thursday involving the Michigan Municipal League, the City of Romulus and Plante Moran. The Community Financial Health Forum featured the League’s Anthony Minghine, COO and associate executive director, and Plante Moran’s Frank Audia, group managing partner. Minghine talked about how Michigan’s economy is improving but its communities continue to suffer due to the state’s broken system for funding…


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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%.