Expanded SaveMICity initiative launches at state Mackinac Policy Conference


The Michigan Municipal League is taking its ongoing SaveMICity initiative to the next level, after debuting a newly expanded effort at the Mackinac Policy Conference on May 30.
“Michigan hasn’t been investing in its communities and that’s evident in our crumbling streets, cuts to fire and police protection, and ongoing struggle to pay for other crucial services,” said Michigan Municipal League Executive Director and CEO Dan Gilmartin. “It’s painfully clear Michigan’s system for funding municipalities is broken and doesn’t track with the economy. We must reform our system to invest in what matters most: our communities.”

With support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and numerous partner organizations, the renewed focus on educating the public and decision makers will include: 

—A new 3-minute animated video that creatively explains why and how Michigan’s system for funding its municipalities is broken. The introduction to the video reads, “Why should residents, businesses, or local officials care about how we fund local government? Isn’t this just a pitch for higher taxes? In short, no. While new revenues need to be part of this conversation, so do cost management and government structure. But that isn’t why you should care. This is about directing resources where they matter the most. SaveMICity.org is your resource to stay engaged on this important topic.”

The video, which states that 86% of people surveyed want local taxes to be spent locally, can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_osM97nQAo&feature=youtu.be
—An informational session at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference titled, “Not Open for Business: Why Dis-
investment in Michigan Cities is Hampering Economic Opportunity.”

 —An improved savemicity.org website with fresh content and updated social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

The website references such resources as Michigan’s Great Disinvestment: How State Policies Have Forced Our Communities into Fiscal Crisis produced by Great Lakes Economic Consulting; its own recent report, Broken Financial System: Issues and Proposed Actions; and the annual state-wide survey done by University of Michigan’s
CLOSUP Project, which has been featured several times in the Grand Rapids Legal News.

There are also tools, such as the video mentioned above; a Revenue Sharing Data Lookup for people to see how their own communities have been affected; and a model resolution in addition to one passed by the City of Brighton.

Local government has had approximately $8.1 billion in revenue sharing diverted from the delivery of local services by the State of Michigan. Take a minute to find out how your community has been affected by using our diverted revenue sharing lookup tool.

“In order to make our state thrive, we need to reform municipal finance,” Gilmartin said. “The SaveMICity campaign is dedicated to yielding results for all Michigan residents so they can continue to love where they live.”