It’s Official: The Rapid asks for a 31% tax increase in May

The Rapid’s board of directors announced last week that they are pursuing a 31% property tax millage increase on May 3rd to fund, among other things, the failed Rapid Silver Line bus system in Grand Rapids. ITP Watch, a project of Kent County Families for Fiscal Responsibility, is opposing this tax increase for the same reasons we opposed it in 2009.

This $26 million tax increase will cost each household $190 more in property taxes for those residents of Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Grandville, Walker, and Wyoming.

Here are some facts regarding The Rapid and this tax increase request:

  • The proposed Rapid Silver Line would clog up Division Avenue, Michigan Street, and Monroe Avenue during rush hour by closing one traffic lane so that only the Rapid Silver Line could use it, leaving only one lane for cars
  • The Rapid Silver Line would run slower than the bus that currently runs nearly the same route
  • Voters already said NO to the Rapid Silver Line in 2009 – but the politicians at The Rapid didn’t get the message!
  • The average Rapid bus operates about 90% empty
  • The Rapid loses $4.31 for each and every rider that uses the system
  • The Rapid just spent over $30 million on a new garage so that their buses could be stored indoors
  • The Rapid spent $250,000 on a piece of art for their headquarters
  • The Rapid is giving their employees raises while most other government entities are cutting back
  • The Director of The Rapid is one of the highest paid government employees in the county

The Rapid needs to do a better job of spending the money it already has before asking for more!

Stay tuned for further updates as we post more details about this upcoming vote.

If you would like to distribute a flyer to friends and neighbors, to explain to them what this tax increase is about, please feel free to use our flyer, available here.

It’s also important to contact your City Commissioners, State Representative, and State Senator and urge them to publicly oppose this massive tax increase.