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The Finance Department is headed by the Finance Director who is appointed by the Mayor. The Finance Director, with the consent of the Mayor, may appoint a Deputy Finance Director.

The Finance Director directs and coordinates the financial activities of the Accounts, Assessments, Treasury, Purchasing, Income Tax, Debt Management, Retirement Systems and Risk Management divisions. The Finance Director shall also secure and maintain compliance with all laws pertaining to financial controls for the protection of public funds.

The Finance Administration Division manages the Department. It sets priorities for the Department and facilitates interaction with other City departments. The Administration Division is also charged with assisting various economic development projects for governmental and quasi-government agencies.

The Chief Accounting Officer of the City of Detroit is appointed by the Finance Director. The Chief Accounting Officer has general supervision of the financial affairs of the City.

Specific duties require the Chief Accounting Officer to:

·    Maintain the books showing the financial condition of the City

·    Present a statement of the financial condition of the City to City Council and present a complete classified statement of all money received and expended by the City during the preceding fiscal year.

·    Prescribe the form and manner of keeping accounts in all departments of the City.

·    Certify that funds are available before any contract for any public work shall be binding on the City.

·    Open accounts with the treasurer and charge him/her with all monies appropriated, raised or received for each of the several funds of the City.

The Accounts Division is comprised of the following sections: Project Administration, Accounts Payable, Payroll Audit and Accounting.

The Project Administration Section reviews all audit findings and handles special projects. Accounts Payable audits expenditures and processes all departmental vouchers, purchase orders and contract payments. Payroll Audit processes and audits the payroll for all City employees.

The Accounting Section coordinates the preparation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and manages accounting information and grant programs.

The Assessments Division of the Finance Department levies taxes on all property liable for assessment. The division is managed by a three-member Board of Assessors.

The Assessments Division also accommodates and processes all requests for property owner and/or taxpayer changes of name/address relative to the tax roll and bills.

Although approval and certification rests with other governmental agencies and City
departments, the Assessment Division addresses general tax issues and concerns regarding special assessment and tax rolls related to the following various tax abatement statues, etc:


The Director of the Purchasing Division is appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the Finance Director.

The Purchasing Division is the City’s centralized purchasing authority and is responsible for the purchase of all supplies for all departments, offices, boards, commissions and institutions, except for the Board of Education, Housing and Detroit Public Library.

The division also:
·    Sells all personal property of the City no longer needed.
·    Upon departmental request, secures such contractual services as may be determined by ordinance.


The Finance Director, with the consent of the Mayor, appoints the Treasurer. The treasurer, collects and records all taxes, special assessments and other monies belonging to and receivable by the city and property taxes received on behalf of the Detroit Public School District and keeps an account of all receipts and expenditures.

The Treasurer is the custodian of all monies, bonds, mortgages, leases and other evidence of value belonging to the City and is responsible for selling personal property when taxes are delinquent. The Treasurer also collects on debts owed to the City.


The Debt Management Division manages the investment of surplus City funds and the financing of the City’s capital needs including those of quasi-public agencies, such as the Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Detroit Building Authority.

This division is also responsible for the dissemination of all updated financial information to existing bondholders as well as rating agencies and manages approximately 150 separate funds, each with different investment objectives as well as legal restrictions.

The Debt Management Division also manages the City’s deferred income plan and maintains all records relating to outstanding debt services and outstanding bondholders.


The Income Tax Division is responsible for the enforcement and administration of the City Income Tax and the City Utility Users Tax ordinances. The Income Tax Division is comprised of Return Processing, that directs the processing of annual, withholding, corporate, partnership, estate, trust extensions, estimated tax returns and utility user forms

Taxpayer Services assists taxpayers by distributing forms, vendor clearances and reconciling accounts.

Accounting prepares reports that account for the monies received from taxpayers.

Auditing reviews selected individual, corporation, partnership and utility user tax returns.


The City of Detroit maintains two separate retirement systems (one for Police & Fire and one for general City employees) that provide retirement and death benefits for City employees and their beneficiaries.

The Police & Fire Retirement System and the General Retirement System are two separate trusts with separate trust provisions. The assets of the two systems make the Detroit Retirement Systems the second and third largest in Michigan, serving approximately 35,000 active and retired members.

The Police & Fire Retirement System Board consists of three elected police uniform employees, three elected fire uniform employees, the Mayor, a Council representative, the Treasurer, the Police Chief and the Fire Commissioner.

The General Retirement System Board consists of five elected active employees, one elected retiree, the Mayor, a Council representative, the Treasurer and a citizen of Detroit who is not eligible for benefits under the Retirement System.

The Risk Management Division protects the assets and earning power of the City from loss or destruction.  This Division conducts building and site inspections, contract review and works to reduce or eliminate risk or loss through careful procedures and practices in personal safety, auto safety and emergency planning.

The Risk Management Division also is responsible for workers’ compensation, central safety, and long-term disability. Risk Management also maintains and administers the Risk Management Fund created in 1995.