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The County's Financial Situation

An overview of the County's financial situation.

The county’s commitment to long-term fiscal stability has been challenged over the past several years due to the economic downturn and the loss of property tax revenue, which makes up the lion’s share of our General Fund (GF) budget.  The County has responded well due, in part, to our solid financial foundation, which includes the retention of AA+ bond ratings and a projected year end surplus for fiscal year 2010, but we are not out of the woods yet. 

Financial Picture The Preliminary Financial State of the County has revealed a projected deficit of $12.9 million for 2012 and $20.9 million for 2013. These projected deficits equate roughly to losing 131 full time employees in 2012 and losing 207 full time employees in 2013.

There is a great deal of uncertainty, especially relating to how Washtenaw county will be impacted by the State’s $1.8 billion projected deficit, as well as by the continued decline in property tax revenue.  It’s important that these projections be considered preliminary, as they will continue to evolve as more information becomes available.  These forecasts will be updated in May to reflect the early decisions of the new Governor and the latest taxable value data from the 2011 Equalization Report. 

The projections represent the estimated size of the budget deficit, assuming that all county services remain at their current service levels with existing staff and operating budgets.  Projections include cost escalations for expenditures to accurately represent the reality the county will face if no further budget modifications are made.  Administrator Verna McDaniel will present her Recommended Balanced Budget to the Board in September 2011.

Several resources are available to help you better understand the county’s financial situation. Please take the time to review them and plug into the engagement opportunities over the next few months. 

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