Dan Gilbert Wants to Use State School Funds for His Projects -- Metro Times
January 12th, 2018, 6:03 AM
Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert is often credited with being the major force that turned downtown Detroit around. But the financing of some of his new downtown projects may raise eyebrows.
The multi-billionaire requests $618 million of state taxpayer money to help fund four downtown Detroit projects that he's developing. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is expectyed to consider his request in March.
Team Gilbert says the request won't affect Detroit Public Schools. The catch, though, is that the tax money he's asking for would go for schools around the state, reports Tom Perkins of Metro Times:
"There’s no impact on the school district. It's a very positive day all around for the city," Quicken Loans vice president of government affairs Jared Fleisher told the Detroit News just after the Detroit City Council approved $250 million of public money for Gilbert in November.
Fleisher made similar statements in a "fact sheet" sent to Metro Times, but an investigation into the funding source found the claims to be misleading at best. While it's true that Gilbert's project wouldn't use money that's specifically designated for Detroit Public Schools, it would use tax money intended to fund schools statewide.
We spoke about Gilbert's claims with officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, city of Detroit, and State Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), who used to work with the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. They all confirmed that Gilbert is indeed requesting tax money meant for schools.