95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Grand Rapids Chamber supports lodging tax for amphitheater and soccer stadium construction

Acrisure Amphitheater
Truscott Rossman
Progressive AE
Acrisure Amphitheater

Two House bills have been introduced by West Michigan lawmakers that would raise money for Kent County’s transformational projects.

Two major projects are moving forward in downtown Grand Rapids. The 12,000 seat, $184 million Acrisure Amphitheater located on the east bank of the Grand River. And on the near-west side, an 8,500 seat USL Championship League soccer stadium. Both facilities are slated to open in 2026.

Two West Michigan lawmakers have introduced hotel tax bills to help finance the projects.

State Rep. John Fitzgerald, a Democrat from Wyoming, is sponsoring a bill (H.B. 5048) allowing cities and townships to collect a 2% lodging tax. Meanwhile, East Grand Rapids Democrat Rep. Phil Skaggs is proposing (H.B. 4931) counties increase their hotel/motel excise tax to up to 10%.

“It’s kind of a user fee, in a lot of ways, right. Folks are going to come here and they’re going to benefit from these world-class amenities, and it’s proven to work.”

Josh Lunger is vice president of government affairs with the Grand Rapids Chamber. Governor Gretchen Whitmer must sign off on the bills before they appear on the ballot for Kent County voters to decide.

“We’re supporting both of these bills and whichever way gets something done so we can move forward, I think when people start to learn more about these projects, they rightfully get very excited because it’s going to be a generational impact.”

The taxes generated would be the public financing component backing the bonds for the projects.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.