Welcome to the Local Government Institute of Wisconsin The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin, Inc. is a not-for-profit, non-partisan corporation representing all citizens of Wisconsin at the local level and created to conduct research, enhance collaboration, and educate the public and policymakers on ways to improve local government's ability to serve the people. There are 1,922 local units of government in Wisconsin:

  • 72 Counties
  • 1,200 Towns
  • 406 Villages
  • 190 Cities
  • Plus hundreds of special districts

Since 1957 there have been 12 state-appointed commissions or task forces charged with finding ways to make local government more effective at serving the needs of Wisconsin citizens and stabilizing sources of local government revenue. We are still at it. The Local Government Institute represents the first time the associations representing local governments in Wisconsin have combined forces to tackle this on-going issue. "In order to carry out its numerous responsibilities, every state has created subordinate units of local government. In most cases, these are legal, rather than constitutional, creations. This means the legislature may abolish them, change them, or give them increased or decreased powers and duties, as it chooses. Special districts may be formed to handle regional concerns. Within the limits of statutory law, each unit has the power to tax and to make legally binding rules governing its own affairs." Wisconsin Blue Book 2005 – 2006 p. 248
"Whoso desireth to discourse in a proper manner concerning Corporated Towns and Communities, must take in a great variety of matter, and should be allowed a great deal of Time and Preparation.  The subject is extensive and difficult." - Thomas Madox (Firma Burgi, 1726)  Quoted in the preface to the Metropolitan Study Commission's 1958 Annual Report to the Governor