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Almost 250 Michigan communities face underfunded pension, healthcare systems

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
It costs a lot of money to go to college.

The state Department of Treasury says almost 250 communities in Michigan had underfunded pension or healthcare systems last year.

That’s about 28% of all communities in Michigan. Combined, their total liabilities tally up to almost 19 billion dollars.

Rod Taylor is with the Treasury Department. He says it’s a problem for those local governments and Michigan as a whole, as it could affect credit ratings and the state’s overall economic vitality.

“It’s important for those communities and it’s important for those employees in those communities. So, it’s trying to bring light to that larger issue,” he says.

Taylor says most local governments have been able to make progress toward addressing their liabilities in the past year.

“The vast majority of them have understood the potential risk that’s out there and have started to make some significant positive changes to address their underfunded status,” he says.

The state created more aggressive methods for monitoring the health of communities’ pension and healthcare systems last year.