Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson lauded the Board of Commissioners today for unanimously approving his balanced, three-year budget without a tax increase. The General Fund/General Purpose Estimated Revenue and Appropriations are balanced at $418,642,395 for FY 2013; $424,700,635 for FY 2014; and $429,068,705 for FY 2015. The total budget for all funds amounts to $776,237,427 for FY 2013; $782,520,298 for FY 2014; and $786,578,208 for FY 2015.
"Oakland County lives within its means," Patterson said. "The budgets for 2012 through 2015 are balanced without tax increases and ensure delivery of needed services to Oakland County residents for the next three years."
Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's recently reaffirmed Oakland County's AAA bond rating because of the Patterson administration's budgetary practices and economic development initiatives. That AAA bond rating saves taxpayers millions of dollars because the county can finance capital projects at the lowest-possible interest rates.
The county has taken advantage of the continued low interest rates by issuing approximately $19 million of bonds to be repaid over a 10-year period to fund the 10-year capital plan for building improvements, infrastructure, and technology projects.
There is no general salary increase for FY 2013. County employees will see a general salary increase of 1 percent in both FY 2014 and 2015. This follows two years of general salary reductions coupled with one year of no increases. However, full-time employees will receive a one-time $500 lump-sum payment for FY 2013. This $500 payment is not recurring and will not be included in the base pay structure. The impact on the General Fund is approximately $1.4 million for FY 2013 only. Since it is a one-time payment, there is no impact on FY 2014 and FY 2015 operating budgets.
There also are modifications to the employee health care plan, which will increase the prescription drug co-pay from the current levels of $5/$10/$25 to $5/$20/$40. In addition, an emergency room co-pay of $100 will be implemented. These changes are designed to encourage the use of generic prescription drugs and the use of physician office visits and/or urgent care centers for non-emergency related care. These changes will apply to all non-represented employees, retirees, and represented employees whose bargaining agreements provide for these changes effective Jan. 1, 2013. The savings are estimated to be $850,000 annually but have not been incorporated into this budget; the savings will be recognized in future budget recommendations after verification through actual experience.
Patterson credited cooperation among elected county officials for the success of his budget. "It was accomplished through a partnership of all Oakland County elected officials who have embraced the prospect of reshaping our county government to become stronger and even more efficient in the long run," he said.
To view the budget online, go to oakgov.com/fiscal.
For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at (248) 858-1048.