How One Billionaire NBA Sports Owner Is Taking Tax Dollars From Poor Cities

I love professional sports, but their financial dealings are getting unethical and starting to really hurt taxpayers. FieldofSchemes.com, which is dedicated to pointing out how sports owners fleece taxpayers and their financial promises never pan out, had this post on billionaire NBA owner Dan Gilbert:

  • Gilbert is pushing for the state legislature to approve a super-TIF bill that would kick back property, sales, and income taxes from environmentally contaminated “brownfields” sites to help pay for the project. It would only apply to projects costing over $500 million in cities of more than 600,000, so the only eligible developer is Gilbert, who is proposing a giant project on the former site of the Hudson’s department store in downtown Detroit.

  • Gilbert got $50 million in tax breaks to move his Quicken headquarters from the suburbs to Detroit.

  • He and his partner, Pistons owner Tom Gores, are seeking $300 million in cash and land in exchange for building a new soccer complex on a half-finished jail site (and a new jail elsewhere).

  • Detroit is about to open a new $187.3 million light rail system that will link “Detroit’s downtown, dubbed Gilbertville because it houses the Quicken office and other buildings where Gilbert’s employees live, with the midtown area, where the entertainment district [built by Gilbert’s fellow sports billionaire, the late Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch] is. Never mind that Detroit’s jobless and carless residents would have much more use for bus lines transporting them to jobs outside the city.”

    Read the rest of the story to see how Detroit’s financial picture has not blossomed like promised with the development of this new area.

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