In December of 2019 the unemployment rate for the State of Michigan was 3.5, which is 0.6 percentage points lower than what it was in 2018 (4.1), according to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The State unemployment rate of 3.5 in December was the same as it was in September and October of 2019. However, it was 0.3 points higher than it was in the previous month.
December unemployment data at the local level is not yet available from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, but the November 2019 unemployment rate for the City of Detroit was 7 percent, which is the lowest it was all year. The November unemployment rate was 0.8 percentage points lower than the October 2019 unemployment rate (7.8 percent) and also 0.8 percentage points lower than the November 2018 Detroit unemployment rate.
The chart above displays the unemployment
rates for each of the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan for November
and 2019. In November
Wayne County had the highest unemployment rate at 4. Washtenaw
County had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.2.
Between November of 2018
and 2019 each county in the region had a lower unemployment rate in 2019 than
the previous year,
with the exception of Oakland County. In both November of 2018 and 2019 Oakland
County had an unemployment rate of 2.9. In that same time span Monroe County
had the largest difference in unemployment rates. In November 2018 the Monroe
County unemployment rate was 3.7 and in November 2019 the unemployment rate was
The above chart shows the Standard and
Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical
Area. The index includes the price for homes that have sold but does not
include the price of new home construction, condos, or homes that have been
According to the index, the average price
of single-family dwellings sold in Metro Detroit was $129,250
this was $1,540
average family dwelling price in September. The September 2019 price
was an increase of $3,170 from October
and an increase of $9,860 from October
an increase of $17,920
and increase of $24,440
and, finally, an increase of
$29,490 from October
For our cities to function effectively, taxes must be levied
to support services vital to their survival. Here we examine the same
hypothetical Eastpointe property discussed last week to portray what additional
taxes—beyond general school, city and county operating millages—are levied to
provide services to this city’s residents.
The first chart below shows that from 1998 to 2009, the
total dollar amount this hypothetical property owner was paying in taxes
gradually increased. This can be attributed to two factors. First, both the
assessed and taxable value of the property (shown in Chart 3) gradually
increased during that time, meaning more property tax revenue for local
governments. Second, voters approved at least one new major tax levy during
that time. This major tax was approved in 2005 and allowed the city to collect
a special levy of up to 7 mills for public safety. For this hypothetical
household, that levy equaled $327.94 in 2005. In contrast, a decade later, that
same special levy brought in $219.08. The decline was due to the fact that the
taxable value of the property plummeted, along with the assessed value, in the
wake of the Great Recession.
As shown in Chart 1, the amount of taxes this hypothetical
property owner paid peaked in 2009 ($2,432.30), which corresponded with the peak
taxable value of this home ($53,599). The subsequent decline in tax bills
occurred despite new service assessments approved by Macomb County voters. For
example, it was in December of 2008 when the regional millage for the Detroit
Zoo began to appear on the tax bills for this property, which by then had a
taxable value of $51,340.41, costing the homeowner $5.13. Tax data from the
City of Eastpointe also shows that this new assessment was much lower than
existing county assessments such as the Huron-Clinton Metroparks millage, costing
this hypothetical property owner $11.01 in 2009,and the Suburban Mobility Authority
for Regional Transit (SMART) millage, which cost the homeowner $30.29 that year.
Chart 2 below presents a timeline of the changes in county-wide and city millages
that affected Eastpointe taxpayers.
**(Note-all taxes on the Eastpointe
tax bill are included in the graph above)
Chart 2: Timeline of Eastpointe, Macomb County Millages and Increased
Suburban Mobility Area Transit Authority
(SMART): 1 mill (quadrennial countywide renewals approved at varying rates; the
most recent was narrowly approved in 2018)
Eastpointe Public Safety: 7 mills (part of
general city operating millage starting in 2016)
Detroit Zoo: 0.1 mill (2008-present; renewal
approved in 2016)
Macomb County Veteran Millage: 0.4 mills
(2008-present; increase approved in 2016)
Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe:
1 millage (2011-Present)
Detroit Institute of Arts: 0.2 mills (2012-2022;
renewal question on March 2020 ballot)
South Macomb Oakland Regional Services Authority
(SMORSA): 14 mills (2015-present)
**The Huron Clinton
Metropark Authority millage has been levied since the 1940s***
The trend of decreased property values and the addition of
special assessments to tax bills continued in the wake of the Great Recession. In
2011, residents in Eastpointe and Roseville approved a 1-mill levy to fund the newly
created Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe (RARE). Later,
voters in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties approved a 10-year, 1 mill tax for
the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), which appeared on tax bills in December of
2012. The largest increase came in 2015, when Eastpointe and Hazel Park voters
approved the creation of the South Macomb Oakland Regional Services Authority
(SMORSA), to provide a new revenue source for public safety services in both
cities; this regional authority levies 14 mills annually. Macomb County voters
also approved a 0.069 mill veterans millage in 2016, a slight increase from an
earlier 0.04 millage rate. In addition,
residents of Eastpointe have regularly renewed a millage to support their local
Between 1998 and 2019, the timeline for the data in this
post, the amount in taxes paid reached a high in 2009 at $2,432.30 (when the
taxable value of the property was at its highest) and a low in 2014 at
$1,563.50 (when the taxable value was at its lowest). Due to the limitations of
Michigan’s Proposal A, which only allows annual taxable value increases of 5
percent or the rate of inflation (unless the property is sold), the taxable
value of this hypothetical property rose only about 7.4 percent over the next
five years (2015-19). However, due to these new assessments, the hypothetical
property owner paid about 38 percent more in total property tax during that
timeframe—roughly equal to the rate of the home’s assessed value increase.
Eastpointe’s case reveals that local governments have had
some success in combating the fiscal consequences of the decline of general
operating tax revenue with voter-approved special assessments for the
county-level service authorities, and especially with SMORSA. Voter support for
these services has been there in recent years, but it remains to be seen
whether it will persist in the coming years.
This year, property owners across Macomb County may see some
additional changes to their tax bills. In March, the DIA will ask voters to
renew a 10 year, 1 mill tax renewal; if voted down in any particular county, the
DIA assessment in that county will fall off the tax rolls in 2022. Voters will
also be asked to approve a 1.9, 10-year millage on the March ballot to support
classroom operations through the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD);
this proposed millage is different from the general operating millages currently
levied by the MISD and local school districts.
Later, in August, Macomb County voters will also be asked to approve a
millage for a yet to be determined amount and length to support either building
a new county jail or renovating the current one. The Regional Transit Authority
(RTA) may also be considering a millage proposal in 2020; although at this time
it appears Macomb County voters will not be asked to support the proposal to
This post is the first of many that will
demonstrate the difference between the taxable and assessed values in
communities throughout Southeastern Michigan and explain the various taxes
levied in these communities and their use. We will highlight at least one
community in each county in the region and this post discusses Eastpointe in
Macomb County. Eastpointe, formerly known as East Detroit, has a population of
about 32,000, a median income of about $46,000 and a median home value of
$64,700, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The chart below shows the taxable value
and assessed value of a
Eastpointe home, beginning in July of 1998 through December of 2019. The
taxable value is the value used to calculate a property’s taxes, and each year
it can only increase by 5 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
This number may be equal to the property’s state equalized, or assessed value,
but not more than those values. Such limits on tax growth, or lack thereof, is
a result of Proposal A, a state constitutional amendment approved by voter referendum in 1994.
The assessed value of a property, or the state equalized valued (SEV), is
usually about half of a property’s true cash value, and the true cash value is
the fair market value of the property.
In 1998 the taxable value of the
Eastpointe property examined was $40,000 and the assessed value was $50,000. In
July of 2007 the assessed value of the property peaked at $83,252 but the
taxable value was only at $50,186. By 2008 the Great Recession hit Southeastern
Michigan and both the assessed values and taxable values of properties began to
decline. Between July of 2007 and July of 2010 the assessed value decreased
from $83,252 to $40,700, or more than 50 percent ($40,000). The
annual declines continued after the recession, and the assessed value of the
property reached its lowest point in July of 2014 at $34,641, a nearly 60%
decline from its peak.
July of 2014 the assessed value of the property has increased to $47,840.
As noted, the taxable value of the
property was $40,000 in July of 1998, but it did not increase nearly as much as
the assessed value did, because it cannot rise more than
the rate of inflation or 5 percent from year-to-year. As a result,
taxable value of the property did not peak until July of 2009 ($53,599).
A year later though, in July of 2010, the taxable value plummeted to $39,749. A
property’s taxable value can decrease in such a way if there is a physical loss
to the property and/or if the property is sold in the previous tax year. The
Great Recession began in 2008 and by 2010 the taxable value of properties were
on the decline, ultimately
governmental budgets, and services.
July of 2013 the taxable value of this Eastpointe property reached its low
point at $30,804. Since then the taxable value of the property has only
increased to $33,095.
Due to economic trends and the way taxable values and assessed values are calculated under Proposal A of, the assessed value of a property is nearly always higher than the taxable value. For this specific property, the only time the taxable value and assessed value were nearly the same was in July of 2009, whenthe taxable value was $39,749 and the assessed value was $40,700. In addition, while the gap between the two values has not been nearly as large as it was prior to the recession, since 2016 that gap has been widening.
As noted earlier, our various forms of
government rely on property taxes to function, primarily our local governments
(municipalities and school districts). The chart above shows that just because
the local economy is recovering since the Great Recession, the budgets of local
governments are not necessarily reaping the benefits. According to a recent
report by the Michigan Municipal League, 173 cities in Michigan have
experienced a 2 percent or less revenue growth in the last 15 years and an
additional 52 have experienced a budget growth of 3 percent or more. For
Eastpointe, according to the a recent report released by the Michigan Municipal
League, the total revenue for the city in 2002 was $22.3 million, and in 2017
it was $25.8 million. While the total revenue for Eastpointe has increased by
16 percent the revenue generated by property and income taxes declined by 23
percent. However, while the effects of limited property tax have
affected municipalities across the state, the slow growth of such taxes has
the property owners. According to a September 2018 Detroit Free Press article
income growth in the state has increased since the last recession, household
incomes prior to the recession have not yet been recouped. Since incomes are
also recovering at a slower rate, it can be viewed that the slow growth rate of
property tax revenue is allowing property owners to better stay afloat
It should be noted though that a, at least in Southeastern Michigan,
local tax bills have become gradually more complicated as voters approve additional
levies, to help make up for the loss in
revenue as a result of the recession, and the loss in revenue due to the
Next week we will examine the various taxes levied for this hypothetical
Eastpointe property, including what they are for, what additional ones have
been added over time and how the overall tax amount for the property has either
increased, or decreased, over time.
Traffic fatalities in Michigan totaled
just under 1,000 in 2018, a number that officials from the Michigan State
Police said is too high. However, that number was below the 2016 and 2017
traffic fatality numbers which rose above 1,000. Below we examine the number of
traffic fatalities and injuries in Southeastern Michigan, along with the number
of fatalities and injuries related to alcohol, distracted driving and drugs. As
the charts show, of the factors examined, alcohol is the largest contributor to
traffic fatalities in the region.
Wayne County, which is also the largest
county in the state, had the highest number of traffic fatalities at 164, 63 of
which were alcohol related. Distracted driving contributed to 6 of the164
deaths and drugs contributed to 38. Oakland and Macomb counties had the second
and third highest number of traffic fatalities in the region at 54 and 53. In
Oakland County, of the 54 traffic fatalities, 13 were alcohol related, 3 were
related to distracted driving and 8 were related to drugs. For Macomb County, alcohol
contributed to 18 of the 53 traffic deaths and distracted driving contributed
to 3 of the deaths; there were not any drug related traffic deaths.
When looking at the percentage of alcohol
related traffic deaths compared to the total number of traffic deaths, Monroe
County had the highest rate. Of the 29 traffic deaths in Monroe County in 2018,
48 percent of them (14) were alcohol related. St. Clair County had the lowest
percentage at 6 percent. In 2018 there were 16 traffic deaths in St. Clair
County and 1 was alcohol related. With those two exceptions, the percentage of
alcohol related traffic deaths ranges between 24 and 38 percent.
Of the other two factors, drugs contributed more to traffic fatalities than distracted driving.
Injuries related to vehicle accidents are
higher than fatalities and while Wayne, Oakland and Macomb still had the
highest numbers in the region, the data shows that distracted driving was
reported to be the largest contributor of the factors examined. Overall, data
indicated that distracted driving contributed to an average of 10 percent of
the traffic related injuries in Southeastern Michigan in 2018. In Macomb C,
Monroe and Washtenaw counties distracted driving contributed to 11 percent of
the traffic related injuries and in Wayne County distracted driving contributed
to 7 percent.
Although Wayne County had the lowest percentage of distracted driving related traffic injuries in the region, it had the highest number at 1,082 (there were 16,578 total injuries). Alcohol was related to 897 traffic injuries in Wayne County and drugs were related to 281 injuries. In Oakland County there were 10,105 total traffic related injuries, 572 of which were alcohol related, 1,013 of which were related to distracted driving and 199 of which were related to drugs. In Macomb County there were 7,360 traffic related injuries, 391 of which were related to alcohol, 813 of which were related to distracted driving, and none of which were related to drugs. And, while Macomb County did not report any drug related traffic injuries in 2018, St. Clair County was the only county in the region where there were more drug related traffic injuries than alcohol or distracted driving injuries. In 2018 there were 931 traffic injuries in St. Clair County, 122 of which were related to drugs.
While the full 2019 Michigan State Police
Report on traffic fatalities and injuries has not been released, officials
maintain that they continue to strive for fewer than 1,000 fatalities each
year. Additionally, officials have said they believe the lower 2018 number is
related to additional efforts made to educate drivers and stricter enforcement.
The 2019 numbers will be released in March, and at that time we will examine
the new data and compare it to historical data.
In Southeastern Michigan there are 14 wastewater treatment
plants that did, and plan to again, participate in a real time water monitoring
system. This real time water monitoring system would span from Port Huron to
Monroe, from where Lake Huron meets the St. Clair River down to Lake Erie. The
purpose of the system is to better ensure the water basin that provides
drinking water to more than 3 million people remains clean, and if there is
contamination, those who run the water plants could shutoff intake to ensure
contaminants do not enter the drinking water.
Current events in Southeastern Michigan, such as the
collapse of a site into the Detroit River that is potentially contaminated with
uranium and the leaking of green hexavalent chromium ooze onto I-696 near stormwater
drains, are a reminder of just how easily our waterways can become contaminated.
While steps certainly need to be taken to avoid contaminants entering our
waterways, a full scale real time water monitoring system is also vital for
public health. However, that has not always been a priority.
The real time water monitoring system was first established
in 2006 with $3.5 million in funding provided by the federal government; local
governments at the county and municipal level also initially chipped in.
However, by 2011 the system was no more as funding dried up. The reasons?
According to a 2016 MLive article, local communities did not have the funds to
allocate toward the operation and maintenance of the system and would not pass
the operational charges along to the ratepayers. Additionally, a 2012 Municipal
and Sewer Magazine article stated that some of the communities along the Huron
to Erie water real time water monitoring system corridor were concerned about
the data the system was producing and wanted to invest money in their own
systems, not a regional one.
Since 2011 the region has been left without a real time
water monitoring system due to lack of and interest in funding. That is until
in 2017 when then Gov. Rick Snyder allocated $375,000 in his budget. The
Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) has since been charged
with procuring and installing the water monitoring system. According a SEMCOG
representative, the updated installation of the system is near completion and
they hope to have real time data from it pushed to public in the near future. In
December they gave no indication that any of the stations were running, just
that a stakeholder meeting would be happening in the near future.
While the re-investment in the system gives way to updated
infrastructure needed to protect our waterways and public health, as the story
of the system’s past shows, regional investment and collaboration will be
necessary for its success. As of the
beginning December, no funds beyond the 2017 investment by the state had been
allocated to the system and staff at the Michigan Department of the
Environment, Great Lakes and Energy were unaware of the system and its funding.
Funding options may vary in keeping the system operating-whether it be
surcharges passed on to ratepayers, additional taxes levied or additional funds
found in government budgets. However the funds are found, they need to be
allocated to protect the public health of the region and cleanliness of our
greatest natural asset.
If the communities along the Huron-to-Erie water basin don’t
come together to collaborate at a regional level to keep this system running,
history could repeat itself leaving the region without a system to protect our
The image below was provided by SEMCOG and shows the locations where the real time water monitoring system sites will operate from, which are water treatment plants throughout the region. These sites were also part of the original system that was established in 2006.
Throughout Southeastern Michigan, Wayne
County has consistently had the highest sexually transmitted disease (STD)
rates since at least 2009, according to the Michigan Department of Health and
Human Services. Below are three charts showing the rates per 100,000 people for
chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. All three charts show that the rate at which
individuals in Wayne County have one of those STDs is much higher than any of
the neighboring counties. Additionally, Livingston County had such low numbers
of sexually transmitted infections accounted for there was no data available
for some of the STDs.
The first chart below shows the rates
people with chlamydia per 100,000 between 2009 and 2018 for the counties in
Southeastern Michigan. Wayne County’s rate peaked at 1,213.6 in 2010 but has
since declined to 872.6 per 100,000 people in 2018. The sheer number of
chlamydia cases reported in Wayne County in 2018 was 15,305. The county with
the lowest number of cases per capita was Livingston County. In 2009 the rate
was 112.1 cases per 100,00 people and by 2018 that number increased to 312.5
cases per people. In 2018, 318 cases of chlamydia were reported in Livingston
County. Unlike with Wayne County, all the other counties in the region
experienced an overall increase in the rate at which people were contracting
the infection. Of the three types of STDs explored in this post, chlamydia has
the highest number of cases reported, making it the most common.
The national trend also appears to show an increase in the number of people becoming infected with an STD. Although no specific reason was given for the decrease in Wayne County’s number it could be related to an increase in information related to sexual education and access to condoms, which are the primary prevention source beyond abstinence.
Wayne County again had the highest rate for the STD examined in the chart below, which is gonorrhea. However, the trend for this infection is not as similar to the trend for chlamydia. For Wayne County, there were 457.2 gonorrhea cases per 100,000 people reported in 2009, and while that number dipped to 213.4 cases per 100,000 people in 2014 it has since increased to 363.4 cases per 100,000 people. While it is fair there has been an overall decrease in the amount of gonorrhea cases reported over the last 10 years, there seems to be a trend of those numbers rising. In 2018 in Wayne there was a total of 6,374 gonorrhea cases reported.
St. Clair County regularly had the lowest
rates reported for gonorrhea infections between 2009 and 2018. In 2009 there
were 79 cases reported per 100,000 people and in 2018 that number decreased to
45.2 (72 cases total). However, the number of cases dropped so low in 2014 and
2015 a rate wasn’t able to be calculated, again showing the trend where there
has been an overall decrease in cases, but the numbers are beginning to tick
For some counties, like Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw, the per capita number has increased above the number reported in 2009. Washtenaw County had the second highest per capita number of cases reported throughout the time frame. In 2018 the gonorrhea rate was 141 cases per 100,000 people (523 cases). While an overall increase from the 2009 rate of 95.8 cases 100,000 people, it is more than 200 points below the Wayne County rate.
Syphilis has the lowest rate among the sexually transmitted infections examined in this post, so low that only data for Wayne, Macomb Oakland and Washtenaw counties was available. Wayne County had the highest rates between 2009 and 2018. In 2009 Wayne County had a rate of 17.4 cases per 100,000 people and in 2018 that increased to 44.8 cases per 100,000 people, or a total of 786 cases. Of the counties with reported data it was Macomb County with the lowest rates, in 2011 (the first year when per capita data was reported) the rate was 6.8 cases per 100,000 people and in 2017 (the most recent year for data) the rate increased to 11.8 syphilis cases per 100,000 people, or 148 cases.
Overall the trend remains that the number of STD cases continue to rise, with the 26 years of age and under population experiencing the largest number of cases, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In the charts above you will see that Washtenaw County regularly falls in second or third in terms of rankings for the per capita rates of any one of the three infections discussed above. This likely has to do with the fact that Washtenaw County is home to both the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University.
Overall, experts believe part of the rise
is related to misinformation or overall lack of information on STDs. They urge
those who are sexually active to be open and honest with both their partner(s)
and health care providers about regular testing, and proper treatment if
necessary, to ensure the STD isn’t spread to additional people. Information on
ways to best prevent STDs, such as use of condoms, regular testing and
abstinence, are also encouraged to be discussed more with all individuals,
particularly those under the age of 26.
For more information on STD testing,
prevention and other information click here.
In October of 2019 the unemployment rate for the State of Michigan was 3.5, the same as it was for the month of September, according to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The State unemployment rate for October of 2018 was only slightly higher than it was this year in October, 3.7.
In October of 2019 Detroit’s unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. That Detroit unemployment rate was 0.7 points lower in October of 2019 from the previous month. Also, the October 2019 unemployment rate for Detroit was 1.5 points lower from the previous year. In October of 2018 it was 9.3 percent.
The chart above displays the unemployment
rates for each of the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan for October
and 2019. In October
Wayne County had the highest unemployment rate at 4.5. Washtenaw
County had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.5.
Between October of 2018 and 2019 each county in the region had a lower unemployment rate in 2019 than the previous year; the county with the largest decrease was Macomb County. In October of 2018 the unemployment rate in Macomb County was 4.1 and in October of 2019 it decreased to 3. Also, Macomb, Livingston, Monroe and Washtenaw counties all had unemployment rates at 3 percent or lower while St. Clair and Wayne counties had unemployment rates at 4.1 and 4.5, respectively.
The availability of industrial spaces is
another aspect of an area’s financial health and below is
information from the quarterly reports of Cushman and Wakefield, a global real
estate firm, which produces information related to Metro-Detroit. According to
the company, leasing
of industrial spaces in the third quarter of 2019 is up from the second
quarter, with the Airport area having the strongest increase by landing
companies such as DSV and Crane World Wide Logistics with their lease renewals.
Additionally, the overall vacancy rate in the Metro-Detroit area is at 2.9
percent, and as shown in the first chart below the Downriver and East side
areas have the lowest vacancy rates at 1.5 percent. The Southfield area has the
highest vacancy rate at 5 percent.
The second chart below shows the average
cost of industrial spaces in the region per square foot. There are three
different types of industrial space as defined by Cushman and Wakefield and
those are: manufacturing, office space and warehouse/distribution spaces. As
the chart shows, office space has the highest market value, with the Southfield
area having the
highest cost at $14.19 per square feet. In nearly all the areas
warehouse/distribution spaces has the second highest cost with Southfield again
having the highest market rate at $7.15 per square foot. In the Downriver and
Troy areas though manufacturing spaces have a higher market rate than the
warehouse space. In Downriver, manufacturing spaces average $4.94 per square
foot and warehouse spaces average $4.80 per square foot; in Troy manufacturing
spaces average $7.22 per square foot and $5.60 per square foot for warehouse
spaces. Troy also has the highest market value for manufacturing spaces in the
According to Cushman and Wakefield, there is an expectation that utilization of industrial spaces will continue to increase in 2020 meaning a continuation of low vacancy rates.
The above chart shows the Standard and
Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical
Area. The index includes the price for homes that have sold but does not
include the price of new home construction, condos, or homes that have been
According to the index, the average price of single-family dwellings sold in Metro Detroit was $129,250 in September 2019; this was $800 lower than the average family dwelling price in August. The September 2019 price was an increase of $4,460 from September of 2018 and an increase of $11,650 from September of 2017, an increase of $19,470 from September of 2016 and increase of $25,670 from September of 2015 and, finally, an increase of $30,910 from September of 2014.
The State of Michigan has consistently
disinvested in local government by providing less and less in revenue sharing.
Cities, townships, villages and counties all rely on this funding to address
there budget needs. But, since 2002 the State has withheld more than $8
billion. We have discussed the loss of revenue sharing-both constitutional and
statutory-for the local municipalities, however we have not explored revenue
sharing at the county level. Unlike cities, townships and villages, counties do
not receive constitutional revenue sharing but rather only statutory revenue
sharing. The chart below shows data from the Department of Treasury, which
reported on the amount of revenue sharing each county received since 2013. The
2020 number below is the expected amount each county is to receive for fiscal
According to the State Revenue Sharing Act of 1971 counties are to receive between 21 and 25 percent of sales tax revenue at the 4 percent rate. That changed for a short period of time when in Fiscal Year 2004-05 revenue sharing payments to counties were temporarily suspended. At that time counties were required to create a reserve fund with their own general fund dollars; counties were then allowed to withdrawal funds in lieu of the state revenue sharing funds that were not being dispersed, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. Once a county exhausted its reserve fund then it could again become eligible for state revenue sharing funds. To add to that, in 2013 counties also became eligible for County Incentive Program Funds; 20 percent of a counties revenue sharing was based on eligibility in this program. These funds are allocated if a county meets certain transparency and accountability standards set by the State.
As the chart shows above, there has not
been a serious increase in county revenue sharing since 2015, and between 2014
and 2015 Wayne County received the largest increase of about $10 million. This
increase did not come from the County Incentive Program Funds, which accounted
for about $10 million in 2014 and 2015, but from its statutory funding. In 2014
Wayne County received about $40 million in revenue sharing and in 2015 that
increased to about $50 million. For Fiscal Year 2020 Wayne County it was proposed
Wayne County receive about $52 million in revenue sharing, a small increase
from its $50 million appropriation in 2015. In 2020 Wayne County’s revenue
sharing payment is to be eligible to be $42 million from statutory funding and
$10 million from the County Incentive Program.
Another item to note is how Oakland
County did not receive revenue sharing in 2013 and 2014. According to the data
Oakland County was not eligible for any type of revenue sharing funding in
either year. Although no specific information was available as to why, it could
have been that the County used its reserve funds by 2013 and was not eligible
for restored funding from the State until 2015.
One of the components of revenue sharing
formulas is population, which is reflected in the amount of funding each county
received in the chart above. Wayne County has the largest population, which is
why it has consistently received the highest amount of funding and counties
like Monroe and St. Clair or more rural with more lower populations and lower
Overall, the chart above show how revenue
sharing for counties in Southeastern Michigan (and at a greater level, across
the state) has remained stagnant for several years. The stagnation, and loss,
of revenue sharing funds directly impacts that services a county provides.
According to the Michigan Association of Counties, counties have lost $2.4
billion in revenue sharing funds. Additionally, in 2019, cities, townships and
villages received more than $1 billion total in both constitutional and
statutory revenue sharing funds and counties received $221 million in statutory
will also look
Fertility rates in the United States and
in Michigan have been steadily declining. According to the Michigan Department
of Health and Human Services, since the year 2000 fertility rates in the U.S.
peaked at 69.5 births per 1,000 women of child bearing age in 2007. Since then
the rates have continued to fall. Between 2011 and 2016 the fertility rate
hovered between 63.2 and 62 before dropping to 60.3 in 2017 and 59.5 births per
1,000 women of child bearing age in 2018. In Michigan, the fertility rate has
consistently been lower than that of the U.S., but it too has been on the
decline. Since the year 2000 the fertility rate peaked in 2000 at 63 births per
1,000 women of child bearing age. Up until 2009 the fertility rate fluctuated
between about 62 and 60.5, then in 2009 the rate dropped to 58.8 births per
1,000 women of child bearing age. Between 2013 and 2016 the fertility rate
again increased to about 60 births per 1,000 women of child bearing age before again dropping to 59.5 in 2017 and
58.5 in 2018. In raw numbers, in 2018 there were 110,293 births in Michigan,
the lowest number since 1941.
According to a recent New York Times article, fertility rates tend to decrease with economic downturns. This happened with the Great Depression and then again with the Great Recession in 2008. However, while fertility rates rebounded following the Great Depression this has yet to happen following the recent recession. Stable fertility rates are important as they help ensure there will be a healthy workforce to keep the economy moving and to care for the elderly populations.
Below is a chart detailing the fertility rates for all of the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan in 2018, along with the rate for the State of Michigan and the City of Detroit. The only county to have a higher fertility rate than the State was Wayne County. In 2018 the fertility rate for Michigan was 58.5 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 and for Wayne County the fertility rate was 66.2; the City of Detroit had a fertility rate of 70.2. Washtenaw County had the lowest fertility rate at 40.5 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44. One possibility for the low fertility rate in Washtenaw County is the fact that the county is home to the University of Michigan. With such a high college population, where the typical age is concentrated in the lower 20s, it is quite possible that the fact that fewer women in their 20s are having children contributed to the county’s low fertility rate.
In addition to publishing fertility rate data by county, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also publishes it by race. Below is the data for the year 2018 by county for white women. The fertility rate for white women in Michigan in 2018 was 55.2 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, and Wayne and St. Clair counties were the only two in the region with higher fertility rates. Wayne County had a fertility rate of 58.7 in 2018 and in St. Clair County the fertility rate for white women between the ages of 15 and 44 was 57.8. White women in the City of Detroit also had a fertility rate higher than the state; Detroit’s fertility rate per 1,000 white women between the ages of 15 and 44 was 57.9.
The fertility rate for black women in
2018 in Michigan was 67.6 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.
Again, there was a higher fertility rate for black women in Wayne and St. Clair
counties than at the state level; those rates were 71 and 70.7, respectively.
The City of Detroit also had a higher fertility rate than the state at 69.2. A
fertility rate was not available for Livingston County.
It should also be noted that the fertility rate for black women in the State of Michigan and across the counties in Southeastern Michigan was higher than the fertility rates for white women in the region and at the state level.
As fertility rates decline it is also
important to understand that there seems to be a shift in the age women are
choosing to have children. According to the same New York Times article, at the
national level, fertility rates have declined the most among teenage women; the
fertility rate for teenagers has declined 70 percent since 2001. Women in their
20s are also having fewer children, despite this age group traditionally having
the highest fertility rate. In 2016 it was women in their early 30s who had the
highest fertility rate. By 2018, the only age group that experienced an
increase in fertility rates was women in their late 30s and early 40s. Also, according to the article, more than
half the women in the U.S. who had children in their 30s had a college degree;
this was more than the amount of women in their 20s with children and college
degrees. There is a belief that women are waiting longer to have children to
ensure their financial stability, career trajectory and that they have enough
resources to provide for their children.
The obesity rate in Michigan was at 32.3
percent in 2018, which is the most recent data from the United Health
Foundation, which produces an annual federal health survey. This rate,
according to the foundation, has been stable for the last several years but
Michigan ranks as the 16th most
obese state in the nation. At the county level, the most recent obesity data
that is available is from 2015, and that data shows that of the seven counties
in the region four of them are at or above the state’s obesity rate. Monroe
County had the highest obesity rate regionally at 37 percent, followed by Wayne
County at 34 percent. Macomb and St. Clair counties both had obesity rates of
32 percent. Washtenaw County had the lowest obesity rate at 24 percent.
Obesity can be linked to several factors, including overeating, medications, certain diseases and lack of physical inactivity. Those who are obese are also more likely to have certain diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Of course obesity is not the only factor contributing to these diseases. Below we explore the percentage of people who are physically inactive in Southeastern Michigan and the mortality rates of diseases linked to obesity.
Physical inactivity is one of the
contributing factors to obesity.
Presented below is the percentage of residents in each county in Southeastern
Michigan who said they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity at least
three times a week in 2015. As is shown in the chart below, Monroe County had
the highest percentage of physically inactive residents at 27.6 percent; Monroe
County also had the highest obesity rate. St. Clair County had the second
highest rate of physically inactive residents at 27.4 percent. Washtenaw County
had the lowest percentage of residents who are physically inactive at 14.5
percent. Washtenaw County also had the lowest obesity rate.
With obesity comes several health risks,
including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, mental illnesses
(depression, anxiety) and an overall low quality of life. The three charts
below show the mortality rates per 100,000 people for diabetes, heart disease
and stroke. Of course the mortality rates displayed below are not directly
produced by obesity. However, note that the counties with higher obesity rates
tend to have higher mortality rates for the diseases discussed.
For mortality rates linked to diabetes,
St. Clair County had the highest rate at 83.3 deaths per 100,000 people,
followed by Wayne County at 71 deaths per 100,000 people and then Monroe County
at 65.6 diabetes related deaths per 100,000 people. Livingston County had the
lowest rate at 45.6 diabetes related deaths per 100,000 people.
Overall, heart disease has a much higher
mortality rate than diabetes, and the county with the highest heart disease
related mortality rate in 2017 was Wayne County at 257.4 per 100,000 people.
Following Wayne County was St. Clair County with a rate at 225.7 deaths per
100,000 people and Macomb County with a heart disease mortality rate of 196.1
deaths per 100,000 people. Washtenaw County had the lowest rate at 151.7 deaths
per 100,000 people.
Strokes had the lowest mortality rate of the three diseases discussed here. Wayne County had the highest rate at 41.2 deaths per 100,000. Oakland County had the second highest mortality rate from strokes at 37.4 deaths per 100,000, and Washtenaw County had the third highest rate at 34.4 deaths per 100,000 people. Monroe County had the lowest rate at 29 deaths per 100,000 people.
Overall, this post highlights obesity rates in Southeastern Michigan, along with one of the causes of obesity and diseases linked to it. Ways to prevent obesity include:
Being physically active;
2. Being cognizant of both caloric intake and the type of foods making up your diet;
3. Being aware of how your emotional state affects your eating habits and how to ensure that these habits do not become unhealthy.