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Decision 2019: Grand Rapids voters to consider permanent tax in exchange for 'great parks'

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This November, voters in Grand Rapids will decide whether or not to adopt a permanent millage to improve and maintain the city’s parks, pools and playgrounds. While the proposal vote this November is technically a renewal of the one voters passed in 2013, the new millage differs in two major ways: While the 2013 millage was a .98-mill-tax, the new millage increased to 1.25, and while the 2013 millage expires in 2020, the new millage is permanent.

“The neighbors for Parks Pools and Playgrounds, hopes once again, Grand Rapids voters rise to the occasion, and vote ‘yes’ to renew an overwhelmingly successful parks millage renewal,” Mike Lomonaco, the chair of the Parks, Pools and Playgrounds millage group said.

Lomonaco says that as Grand Rapids has experienced substantial growth over the past decade, the permanent millage is critical for the city to realize its full potential.

“Great cities build great parks,” Lomonaco said. “And now is not the opportunity to slow down, now is the time to invest in this critical infrastructure, and maintaining our assets,” he said.

If passed this November, under the new millage, the average Grand Rapids homeowner would pay about $68 per year or roughly $5.60 per month.

The Grand Rapids City Commission, Parks and Recreation Department and Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss have all said it’s the city’s goal to have a park within walking distance of every resident.

The vote is set for Tuesday, November 5th.

aniel Boothe, WGVU NEWS

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