While Pontiac's emergency manager makes drastic cuts to resolve the city's budget crisis, the owner of the Silverdome is hoping for a five-year breather on paying taxes on the property.
Triple Properties of Toronto currently pays the city $95,000 in property taxes for the former Detroit Lions stadium, the Daily Tribune reports. If the proposal is approved, the company's taxes would be frozen at that amount. Schimmel told the Tribune $95,000 is only half of the Silverdome's actual taxable value.
Triple Properties owner Andreas Apostolopoulos once mentioned pursuing glamorous upgrades to the building, like knocking out the roof and bringing in a Major League Soccer team. But the five-year tax abatement would only be used for critical repairs, including fixing the Silverdome's drainage system and replacing lights, according to the Detroit News.
Apostolopoulos, with a family net worth estimated at $805 million, is set to make his case for the tax break Thursday afternoon to Schimmel, who has been outwardly wary of the idea of losing revenue from the Silverdome's taxes.
"I will keep an open mind, but I have never been a terrific fan of giving away tax breaks," Schimmel told the News.
In his six months as emergency manager of Pontiac, Schimmel has made controversial cost-cutting decisions. An attempt to give Oakland County control of some of the city's federal funds -- resulting in less money for Pontiac -- was stopped, but he has expressed interest in selling off many of the city's assets.
Apostolopoulos bought the Silverdome in 2009, seven years after the Detroit Lions paid the city of Pontiac $26 million to break their agreement and moved south to Ford Field. Apostolopoulos got the historic stadium for a mere $583,000 in what many considered a rip-off. Since then, he's put $6 million back into the property for upkeep, according to Canadian Business.
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Flickr photo by Dave Hogg.