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Wayne County Executive speaks about the county's financial challenges

Warren Evans
Warren Evans on Instagram

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans highlighted property values and taxes in his State of the County address Thursday.

Evans was a guest on Stateside Friday. He said property tax revenues are down in Wayne County.

Listen above to hear Stateside's full conversation with Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.

"For the last four years as we were coming out of our financial problems we were doing it with about 100 million dollars less than the revenue that we had in '07 which is about 25% less general fund revenue, and that’s pretty significant."

Evans said the county has had four years of balanced budgets or budget surpluses. However, he says it needs surpluses of cash to pour back into the pension system.

"We've got an awful long way to go," said Evans, "and with no large influxes of cash, that might be a ten year process of siphoning off surpluses that could be used to enhance county services to pour back into pensions."

He said the pension is only 61 percent funded. While that percentage is higher than when he took office, Evans says 80 percent funding is necessary for a stable pension system.

Evans also discussed Michigan's damaged roads and the county's payment plan.

Evans acknowledged that Wayne county's roads are heavily used with it's international border and multiple sports arenas. Immediate cash infusion is challenging, Evans says, especially if the money is to come from the same formula that has funded the county, as it will be underfunded.

Evans hopes to find a way to assess the payment plan program, which is offered to people in order for them to catch up on their property taxes rather than lose their homes to foreclosure.

As for the money the county recives from foreclosed homes, Evans said he would rather have people living in their homes than for the county to get those funds.

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