Once sold to the private sector, Metro could become a major taxpayer. Depending on the number of tax abatements made available, the county and city of Romulus, in which the airport is located, might receive considerable income from additional property tax payments.

While all costs at Metro are paid by airport vendors (primarily the airlines and their customers), there is in effect a large subsidy for airport use borne by the taxpayers of Wayne County. As a tax-exempt enterprise, the airport does not pay property taxes on its facilities and 5,000 acres of land. Even at its below market gross book value of $296 million, the airport is exempt from paying $1.1 million in county property taxes, $1.7 million in city property taxes, and$7.6 million in property taxes to the Romulus School District for a total tax exemption of at least $10.4 million per year. [33]

Were these revenues available, property tax millage rates might be lower or other public services available. The direct beneficiaries of this tax-exemption are airport users (airlines and passengers).