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Michigan’s 2024 proposed budget includes $2M for Detroit Grand Prix

Detroit Grand Prix proposed to get $2 million from taxpayers in latest state annual budget

The Democrats in Lansing are proposing to give away $2 million in taxpayer dollars to the Detroit Grand Prix. The 2024 appropriations budget is currently in negotiations which means dollar amounts could change. The line item states the money will come for the general fund and will “support capital improvements for the Detroit Grand Prix auto race.”

Legislative leaders say they want to be more transparent when it comes to the $800 million proposed pork projects in the 2024 budget. The line item has more description on what the money will be used for, compared to previous annual budget grants. Though it does not state which elected official is requesting the grant.

Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Inc. is a 501C3 nonprofit corporation organization according to its 2021 990 form, the latest filing on record. The organization’s form showed $11,943,538 in revenue in 2021. Eric Larson, vice president, received $519,240 in total compensation the same year.

Given the revenue, it is not clear why the state is offering a $2 million grant for capital improvements. There was no response from the Grand Prix to a voice mail seeking comment. 

The Detroit Grand Prix notes its mission on the 990 form is to revitalize the City of Detroit and improve and preserve Belle Isle Park. The park has its own nonprofit, Belle Isle Conservancy. It had a total of $2,539,581 in revenue in 2021, according to its 990 form. Revenue less expenses showed ­$-453,660.

This year, the race moved to the streets of downtown Detroit after being held on Belle Isle for year.

Salaries for the Belle Isle conservancy were $1,363,246. The top three known salaries at the nonprofit were $135,821 to $153,994. There were 27 employees listed with title of director who averaged 2 hours work per week each for 2021. Salaries of the directors, chair, and treasurer were not disclosed.

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.