‘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.

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.