Property Taxes to Rise for Grand Rapids Residents

Posted at: 08/28/2013 10:59 PM
By: Zach Hammer

Taxpayers in Grand Rapids will be paying more money in property taxes under two levies, that may be used for a $5.7 million facilities project.
With growing attendance rates, District 318 Superintendent Joe Silko says that six new classrooms need to be built in the Robert J. Elkington Middle School in Grand Rapids. 
"Four out of the next five years we have a population swell that is going to hit the middle school and create the need for additional classroom space," said Silko.
The project will also address other renovations such as replacing some lighting, fixing roofing and other hard surfaces, Silko says.
He knows no one likes paying additional taxes, but deems these hikes necessary.
"Any time you raise taxes there's going to be a great deal of angst among the taxpayers," said Silko. "And the board understands that and takes their charge very seriously."
Silko said that most people at Wednesday night's meeting just wanted to know where the money would be coming from and where exactly it would go. 
But there were some people speaking out on the project and how the school will raise the money. 
"The one concern that really jumped out at me was that recreational property, seasonal property is not taxed for the benefit of the school district," said Jack Mooty, of Grand Rapids. "Yet those facilities, those cabins — multimillion dollar homes really  require services from the county and the city and that draws money out of the system."
Grand Rapids residents with a $100 thousand home or property, Silko says, can expect to pay about $80 a year in extra property taxes in 2014 and 2015. That equates to $6.67 a month.
For more on the project from the school's website, click here.