November 7 Local Elections!

On November 7, voters across Kent County will head to the polls to decide local races and tax questions.

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Click here to find your polling location and view a sample ballot.

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce PAC, the Friends of West Michigan Business, has endorsed three experienced and capable candidates for Grand Rapids City Commission, Mayor of Kentwood and Mayor of Walker. Endorsements were based on candidate questionnaires, interviews and past performance for incumbents.

GR Chamber PAC Endorsements:

Grand Rapids City Commission

Ward 3 – Senita Lenear

Mayor of Kentwood                                        

Stephen Kepley

Mayor of Walker                                             

Mark Huizenga

Rapid Millage Renewal

The Rapid is seeking a millage renewal from voters of its six-city service territory (Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker and Wyoming). The renewal would continue the rate of 1.47 mills for 12 years, costing the owner of a home with a taxable value of $100,000 roughly $147 per year.

The Rapid last had a millage vote in 2011, when the rate was increased from 1.12 to 1.47 to fund services enhancements. The Chamber Board voted to endorse the renewal and urges a YES vote.

Josh Lunger, Director of Government Affairs for the Chamber, says supporting The Rapid remains a key issue for employers in attracting and retaining talent in the region.

“At the Chamber, we hear about talent every day from every industry and from businesses of every size,” Lunger said, “We need to continue to work to overcome obstacles to employment across the area.”

The Chamber urges a YES vote on this proposal.

Grand Rapids Public Library Millage

The Grand Rapids Public Library (GRPL) is asking city residents for a new tax.

The library’s capital millage is expiring, and it is asking residents for a new 20-year tax to be used for expanded purposes, including operations, maintenance and capital projects. This is on top of an existing $8.5 million operation millage.

After meeting with GRPL and considering its plan, the Grand Rapids Chamber has decided to oppose this millage.

While libraries are critical to providing all area residents and businesses access to knowledge and resources, a tax increase is not the best way to support the library’s future. As a community, we need to fix structural issues before we embark on two decades of increased taxes.

See the Chamber’s Grand Rapids Business Journal’s editorial here.

The Chamber urges a NO vote on this proposal.

Questions? Contact Andy Johnston at 616.771.0335

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