Billionaire Dan Gilbert doesn't need the $60-million tax break he's requesting from Detroit City Council for his massive Hudson's site, writes Detroit News columnist Bankole Thompson.
Detroit needs more than fancy-named skyscrapers and high-rent buildings in the business district. It needs visible and tangible improvement in the lives of ordinary residents who time and time again are called upon to give up millions of dollars in tax breaks for big companies, including billionaire investor Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock company.
The ugly plight of poverty among residents persists because of the lack of difference-making initiatives, despite the city’s history of giving away huge tax subsidies to highly capitalized companies that show up in front of the City Council with nothing concrete. ...
Detroiters, many of whom are disenfranchised, are sick and tired of writing millions of dollars off for the project of a billionaire while they have to beg City Hall for help to simply stay in their homes or have their water turned on. Huge tax breaks have proven not to help the average Detroiter. Too often, the jobs that are promised during the PR blitz for such subsidies don't materialize.