‘Richest Person in Michigan’ Could Get Richer With New State Subsidies

Gilbert named ‘richest’ just weeks after bills signed authorizing millions from taxpayers

Forbes Magazine has just named Detroit developer Dan Gilbert the Richest Person in Michigan. The magazine estimates Gilbert's net worth at $5.1 billion.

ForTheRecord says: The listing comes just a few weeks after Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law approved by bipartisan majorities in the state House and Senate that makes Gilbert’s companies eligible for state payments worth tens of millions of dollars each year for up to 20 years. A few other large developers may also be eligible.

Gilbert personally lobbied for the subsidies during several trips to the state Capitol. A Gilbert spokesperson told Bridge Magazine that without the government payouts some of his Detroit real estate deals wouldn’t make money because they don’t make sense economically:

“If we want to do this next wave of projects, we can’t get the financing and the economic return isn’t there to even allow us to go forward with it…the projects don’t work without a little bit of support,” said Matt Cullen of Gilbert’s Rock Ventures.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the subsidy law on June 8, 2017.

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A “bottlenecker” is someone who uses the power of the government to limit competition in the market and artificially boost their own profits. Bottleneckers use a variety of methods to achieve their goals, including tax loopholes, regulations, occupational licensing requirements, minimum wage laws and many more. The end result when these special interest bottleneckers succeed is fewer choices and higher prices for consumers, fewer job opportunities for workers and less innovation throughout the economy.

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