Ficano proposing deep, two year budget cuts - FOX 32 News Chicago

Ficano proposing deep, two year budget cuts

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Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano talks to Fox 2 about budget cuts he's proposing.  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano talks to Fox 2 about budget cuts he's proposing. (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Wayne County says its property tax revenue has declined by 30-percent since 2008, and County Executive Robert Ficano says it will be a slow climb back -- about 15 years.  So now he's proposing two year cuts that he hopes will take effect later this year.

"The finances aren't there we have to cut, and that's the bottom line," said Ficano.

So cutting is exactly what Ficano plans to do, proposing two year, deep 20-percent cuts to balance the county's $2.13-billion budget.

"Since 2008, the county's lost about $100-million in property taxes," Ficano said.  "That's the main source of revenue that the county uses."

Ficano is asking for a line item budget recommendation and cuts to city service programs for community correction and economic development.  Departments have been asked to cut 20-percent of general funding in addition to the continued 10-percent in employee pay cuts the county proposed three years ago.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is blasting Ficano, saying her department has
already cut all it can afford to lose.

In a statement to Fox 2, Worthy said, "I find Ficano's reason for the most recent proposal completely disingenuous. He's changing the rules in the middle of the game."

She goes on to say, "He can talk to me about cuts when he recoups the millions of dollars in
severances, fringes and perks that he's given his staff."

The cuts include buyouts and severance packages, which Ficano says were modeled after GM and Ford.

"People have said should you do those type of things.  Well, we save about $2.8-million a
year," said Ficano.

Kym Worthy is threatening to sue over the proposed cuts, but Ficano says he's not worried.

"It's natural to be resistance, but the final determination is made by the Board of Commissioners.  We ask all the elected officials to give us proposed budgets. Unfortunately, this time the prosecutor, the sheriff and some others have not submitted any of that, so just simply a budget goes forward to the Board of Commissioners, and they'll have a chance to make their case in front of the Board of Commissioners of what they think their budget should be," Ficano said.

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