Citing a robust economic recovery and strong fiscal practices, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson today announced his annual budget proposal to the County Board of Commissioners for the 2016 to 2018 fiscal years, recommending a balanced budget through 2020.
“Oakland County’s future is bright: Employment is up, housing starts and prices are up, and the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well,” Patterson says. “Much of Oakland County’s financial success results from its focus on long-term financial planning — emphasizing thoughtful strategic management versus crisis management.”
The total budgets for 2016, 2017, and 2018 are $825 million, $832 million, and $835 million, respectively. The proposed budget takes into account Patterson’s .15 mills property tax reduction, announced in his 2015 State of the County speech. The commissioners passed a .10 mills decrease this past spring for the summer tax bills. Patterson’s proposed budget calls for the implementation of the additional .05 mills tax cut, resulting in a 4.04 millage rate.
Patterson called for a general salary increase for country employees, which will increase for each of the next three years (3 percent in 2016, 2 percent in 2017, and 1 percent in 2018). He also recommended a $4 million increase in the county’s building improvement fund, from $1.5 million to $5.5 million.
Patterson also highlighted the fact that Oakland County’s most recent unemployment rate of about 4 percent in April 2015 is below both Michigan and the nation’s rate of 5.4 percent. He says the county’s per capita personal income of about $57,000 for 2013 is the highest of any county in the state, and higher than the national average.
He says University of Michigan economists George Fulton and Donald Grimes forecast that about 49,000 new jobs will be added in Oakland County over the next three years.