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Dear Downriver Resident:

After years of declining tax revenues and challenging budgets, Wayne County's finances are better than they have been in many years. The factors leading to an improved financial position include Wayne County's consent agreement with the State of Michigan.

Wayne County's administration reported that the structural, annual deficit of $52 million has been eliminated - and the accumulated deficit of $88 million has been wiped out. As of September 30, 2015, the end of the last fiscal year, the County now has a general fund surplus of $5.7 million.

The biggest factors in righting the County's financial ship were a transfer of an excess of $178 million by the Treasurer's Office from the Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund, and significant cuts taken by County employees and retirees, namely via their benefits.

After becoming Chairman of the Ways and Means (Budget) Committee this past fiscal year (Fiscal Year 2015-2016), nearly every department has seen its budget reduced. Priorities need to be, and were, regularly re-examined, with keeping our residents' safety our top priority. Striking the right balance between providing necessary services - and doing so within budget - will go a long way toward restoring trust in county government.

Best wishes for a healthy summer.

Sincerely,

Joseph Palamara
Wayne County Commissioner