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List of cities, villages, and townships in Michigan
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List of cities, villages, and townships in Michigan

This is a list of cities, villages and townships in Michigan, arranged in alphabetical order. In Michigan, townships are statutory units of government, meaning that they have only those powers expressly provided or fairly implied by state law. Cities and villages are vested with home rule powers, meaning that they can do almost anything that is not expressly prohibited by law. Cities have greater freedom to operate independently; however, cities are also required by law to fulfill certain governmental positions--meaning that cities generally require a higher level of taxation to support the increased obligations. Villages are not required to provide the same level of services as a city and share responsibility for some services with the township.

Most cities and villages are incorporated under home rule charters, although there are a small number that were incorporated before home rule legislation was enacted and have chosen not to reincorporate with a home rule charter. But this distinction has little practical difference.

There are two types of townships in Michigan: general law and charter. Charter township status was created by the state legislature in 1947 and grants additional powers and stream-lined administration in order to provide greater protection against annexation by a city. As of April 2001, there were 127 charter townships in Michigan.

Charter townships are able to levy millage on the residents without a vote of the people. This is not permitted in general law townships, which are funded mainly through State Shared Revenues, although the people of a township can vote for a levy. Consequently, general law townships typically do not offer things such as street cleaning, refuse hauling, sidewalk maintenance or other services provided in a city unless tax payers specifically pass a millage to cover the cost.

General law townships are also prohibited by law to construct and maintain their own roads. The County Road Commission is legally the agency that must care for the roads. That does not prevent the local residents from determining that they want more than the Road Commission can provide, and in so doing, fund portions of the road work out of the local budget.

There are also many unincorporated, named communities in Michigan that may appear on maps or travel information. These unincorporated communities generally do not have any official governmental status.

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