LeDuff: Bob Ficano wants to raise your taxes Wayne County - FOX 32 News Chicago

LeDuff: Bob Ficano wants to raise your taxes Wayne County

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Wayne County CFO Carla Sledge Wayne County CFO Carla Sledge
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Bob Ficano's chief financial officer offered up next year's budget to the county commissioners Thursday. Before the fiscal year even begins, she said the county is at least $70 million in the hole.

"The books are balanced, and they'll be balanced October first, but if departments and elected officials don't stay within their appropriation, whatever the commission adopts, you are correct. We will not be balanced," said Carla Sledge.

The county's CFO also said Wayne County's pension fund is only 47 percent funded, one of the worst in America, and they were thinking about borrowing to plug the hole. That is what Detroit did, and you know where that got them.

In fact, Sledge said Wayne County is probably going to get an emergency manager in less than a year.

"I would say that if some, and I hate using this word, but draconian measures are not taken during this budget cycle, you'd be pretty close," Sledge told the commission. "I'd say a year."

So how do you fix it? Ficano has come up with a doozie -- raise your taxes Wayne County.

"We cannot maintain unless we at least go to the public and see if they'd be willing to consider it," Sledge said.

It should be noted that she is not a Wayne County resident.

"We in Wayne County cannot attract people to move here, live here, want to make this a wonderful county that it is with a tax rate double our neighbors. Absolutely bad business," said Laura Cox, chairwoman of the county's Ways and Means Committee.

Everything Ficano has touched seems to have turned to dookie -- a race track, an overpriced skyscraper and losing money on the big kahuna, the new county jail.

Now the county commission rubber stamped all of that, but not the tax increase. Finally they are looking out for your interests Wayne County.

"How many times are we going to keep believing bad numbers in front of us. At some point in time we have to put our foot down and say no more," Cox said.

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