Dave Coulter presents $ 965 million budget for Oakland County – The Oakland Press
Oakland County’s $ 965 million budget for fiscal 2022 is focused on post-pandemic economic recovery and improving the well-being of county residents.
On Thursday, Dave Coulter, the county executive, submitted his executive-recommended three-year budget to the Council of Commissioners with a formal presentation on July 22. The council’s finance committee will now hold ministerial hearings to review any changes to Coulter’s budget before formally approving it. in September before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1.
Coulter said the budget includes new investments in environmental sustainability, cybersecurity, criminal justice reforms, a county-wide incident management team and for existing programs involving health and education, including Health 360, Oakland 80 and Clean Slate Initiative.
“Although nearly 70% of our residents are vaccinated and it seems that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, the budget that I am presenting to you today is still strongly influenced by the global health crisis that has hit our country in March 2020, ”he said.
To date, the county has received approximately $ 464 million in direct assistance from the federal government to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these funds have been used to fund county operations and provide a bonus to essential county workers, but the majority has been spent on grant programs to support residents, businesses, and nonprofits that continue. to recover from the pandemic.
One of the highlights of the FY2022 budget is to integrate the operation and management of the Oakland County Incident Management Team with the County Emergency Management Division. Currently, the team is managed by a group of local fire departments.
Other highlights of the budget and investments include:
- County computer system upgrades that improve protection of county technology systems and resident data.
- Establishment of the Convictions Integrity Unit within the Office of the Prosecutor to assist those who may have been wrongly convicted.
- Funding from an environmental sustainability officer to help develop the county’s environmental sustainability plan with a goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions on the county campus by 2030.
- Funding to expand Health 360, a program launched in 2020 to provide primary, dental, behavioral and mental health services in the two county public health units in Pontiac and Southfield. This is a partnership with Honor Community Health and the Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency.
- Dollars to support Oakland 80, another existing program that requires 80% of adult Oakland County residents to complete a college degree or training certificate by 2030. The program helps connect students with higher education opportunities.
- Funding to support the Clean Slate Initiative, which provides assistance to residents seeking to take advantage of the state’s new deregistration laws. The aim is to remove the records so that residents can re-enter the workforce and take advantage of the increased number of new employment opportunities.
Lower the costs
Over the next three years, Coulter has set a goal of reducing the service’s labor costs by 7-10%.
To help achieve that goal, the county earlier this year implemented an early voluntary departure incentive program that has helped reduce positions through attrition.
Along with these cost savings, this program will also help balance the cost of implementing the county’s new compensation plan.
This compensation plan aims to bring employee wages back into more competitive ranges in the market and help retain and attract more workers as the labor market tightens.
Over the next three years, further cost reductions will be achieved by eliminating vacant positions and identifying other operational efficiencies.
Property tax revenue
According to the FY2022 budget, property tax revenue will account for around 55% of the county’s general / general-purpose fund revenue at $ 264.5 million.
Although the value of Oakland County properties continues to rise, with a total market value of $ 165.6 billion, this does not equate to the same increase in property tax revenue due to the equalized value by the ‘State and assessed value, both of which are used when preparing tax assessments.
Currently, the county state matched value is $ 84.8 billion for the 2021 assessment rolls, while the assessed value is $ 65.4 billion, which is slightly over the previous high of $ 64.7 billion in 2007.
Sales of existing homes in the county have increased by about 20% over the period May 2019 to May 2021, while the average sale price is $ 310,000. That’s a 6.6% increase from the 2020 level of $ 290,700. This continues the growth trend of the past five years.
The county’s total market value is the highest in the state and represents 16.6% of the state total. About 76 percent of the county’s total property tax base is residential.
The county’s budget for fiscal year 2022 is balanced at $ 482.1 million in GF / GP spending, $ 483.5 million for fiscal year 2023, and $ 492.9 million for fiscal year 2024.
The total budget of all funds includes $ 965.5 million for fiscal year 2022, $ 959 million for fiscal year 2023 and $ 973.5 million for fiscal year 2024.