GR voters asked to make parks tax higher, permanent

Elections

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you are a Grand Rapids resident headed to the polls next Tuesday, you’re going to be asked to vote on something you did just a few years ago.

The city is once again asking for a dedicated millage to support city parks and other recreational opportunities in Grand Rapids.

In 2013, voters passed a millage to pay to clean up and modernize city parks that fell into serious disrepair after deep funding cuts during the Great Recession.

Now, the city wants to make that tax higher and permanent.

“We’re looking at an evergreen millage. Well, we’re looking at, again, continued investment,” said Mike Lomonaco with Friends of GR Parks.

The tax would increase from .98 mills to 1.25 mills. It would also extend the tax that is supposed to end in 2020 to permanent status.

If approved, the cost to the owner of a home with a market value of $110,000 would go up from $52.11 to $68.75 annually.

Supporters of the millage says the current levy has generated funds beyond what’s collected on the local level.

“About $20 million by the end of the current millage, will have been raised,” said Lomonaco. “In addition, we have been able to get an additional $16 million in non-millage funds through grants, through partnerships, that otherwise would not be available.”

The tax would raise about $5 million in the first year it’s collected. 

You can find your polling place and check out a sample ballot online at the Michigan Secretary of State’s Voter Information Center.

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