News Story

Racetrack Buys Property From Wayne Co. Taxpayers for $1 and Sells It for $179K

One-dollar investment may yet yield two more property sales for track owners

A Huron Township racecourse that bought land for $1 from Wayne County less than two years ago has already sold one parcel for $179,000 and has plans to sell two more, according to a township official.

Pinnacle Race Course bought the land after agreeing to numerous stipulations, including creating 1,200 jobs, according to Huron Township Supervisor Elke Doom. She wasn't sure if Pinnacle Race Court created 1,200 jobs, but estimated that less than 30 jobs are currently at the site.

Pinnacle Race Course General Manager Mike Mackey didn't return numerous calls left at his office. Wayne County officials could not get details of the land deal on Thursday.

The land deal was first reported by the News Herald of Grosse Ille. 

Doom said Wayne County Commissioner Ed Boike has started an internal investigation into the land deal. Boike didn't return a message left on his county voicemail.

The Wayne County Land Bank Authority sold the land to Post It Stables, the owners of Pinnacle Race Course, on Oct. 28, 2008, Doom said.

Post It Stables sold 7 acres of the land to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians for $179,000, and it already has been recorded at the county, Doom said. She also said that there are two other 5-acre parcels on the selling block.

Doom said that since the land was sold to an Indian tribe, the township won't be able to collect taxes on it or control through zoning what goes up there.

"They don't have to follow any of our zoning laws, ordinances and no taxation," Doom said.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.