Jun 29, 2022 - News

Gilbert struggles to win support for tax break

Rendering of Hudson's site development downtown
Hudson's site. Rendering courtesy of Bedrock

Billionaire Dan Gilbert doesn't have enough City Council support to pass a $60 million tax break for his Hudson's site development downtown.

  • A vote was expected yesterday, but Bedrock, Gilbert's development company, asked for the tax break to be taken off the council's agenda.
  • There is no timeline for a future vote, and Bedrock will continue lobbying for votes in the meantime.

Why it matters: Gilbert is one of the city's most prolific benefactors. His representatives have suggested future investments could be jeopardized if the 10-year commercial property tax abatement doesn't pass.

  • Council members are now left with a polarizing choice: Risk upsetting Gilbert, or side with residents who believe their tax money is better spent elsewhere, like on affordable housing programs.

What they're saying: Council Member Coleman Young II, who told reporters he supports the tax break, says the conversation was tabled because "we just don't have the votes."

  • Young said he's concerned about potential layoffs on the Woodward Avenue job site if the council ultimately rejects the tax break.
  • The potential layoffs aren't definite, but "there've been strong suggestions that this is a possibility."

Yes, and: The council is somewhat obligated to approve the tax break because it unanimously approved the abatement's framework in 2017, Gilbert's representatives have said.

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