There is no government organization that tracks whether developers receiving taxpayer dollars create the jobs they claim to, so Gilbert can say whatever he wants — no one is following up.
Independent studies like that conducted by Upjohn and Pew Charitable Trusts in 2016 found that Michigan provides businesses with more corporate welfare than most states, but doesn't see the expected job growth. A recent Mackinac Center investigation also found that only 2.3 percent of projects using similar tax incentive programs produced the jobs promised.
Of Gilbert’s 24,000 jobs, 15,000 would be temporary construction jobs, according to his own figures. And since he would collect the income tax of the workers laboring on his projects, there’s less of a positive economic impact on the rest of the state. As for the permanent jobs, it’s worth stressing that Gilbert's four projects may not create many new jobs because he is putting up buildings and renovating towers where existing jobs would relocate.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.