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The 10 Michigan communities with the highest legacy costs

Patricia Drury
Detroit has the third-highest legacy debt per capita.

To call Detroit’s legacy costs underfunded would be, well, an understatement.

According to the city’s numbers, Detroit’s pension and retiree healthcare funds are about $9.2 billion short.

But Detroit is not the only Michigan city with major legacy costs — not by a long shot.

Legacy costs, or costs undertaken by local government for future use, have been taken on by more than 280 of Michigan’s 1,800 communities, according to data compiled by Bridge Magazine.

And while Detroit has the highest amount of total unfunded legacy cost, the per capita numbers show a slightly different picture.

If you took the total legacy cost debt and divide it up per resident of each community, River Rouge tops the list, with $11,252 in legacy costs per resident. Flint follows with $10,857, and Detroit ranks third with $7,827.

Here's the full list:

Credit Melanie Kruvelis / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
The top ten Michigan communities with the highest unfunded legacy costs for each resident.

Go to the Bridge Magazine story to see whether your community falls on the list.

- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom


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