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Here's a good summary of what happened, touching on what others in this thread have mentioned. tl;dr, where you draw the tax borders matters:
>An analysis of Detroit and 28 of the independent suburban towns and cities above 8 Mile Road, mostly in Oakland County, shows clearly how the massive, unsustainable debt came about. Just between 1999 and 2011 the annual median household income for Detroit’s residents fell by $4,300, from $29,500 to $25,100. The number of unemployed doubled from 7.8 to 15.5 percent of the adult population, with many of these job losses resulting from the 2008 financial crisis.
>A handful of the Oakland County suburbs, mostly those bordering the city along 8 Mile Road also saw the incomes of their residents drop, and joblessness rise causing fiscal problems for these governments also. The rest of Oakland County prospered over the same period, however.
>For example, the aptly-named Beverly Hills, a small incorporated village about 7 miles from Detroit has seen the median family income of its residents grow by $12,700 over the last twelve years, from $90,300 to $103,100 today. In a few other Oakland County enclaves families register incomes more than double the nation’s average, three times that of Detroit. These cities, towns, and villages, many of them incorporated in the 1950s and 1960s expressly to absorb white migrants bailing from Detroit, are fiscally healthy units of government. Oakland County today maintains a AAA bond rating from Moody’s and uses this to finance many of the smaller townships, villages, and school districts in its limits. Bloomfield Hills School District has maintained a AAA credit rating thanks to its wealthy residents who are solidly in the top 20 percent of US income earners. Ratings on much of Detroit’s paper ranges from speculative to junk status, often with “negative outlooks,” a phrase in the industry that means downgrades are likely.