Voters to decide on new zoo and museum millage

In November, the John Ball Zoo and the Grand Rapids Public Museum will ask Kent County voters to pay higher property taxes to support the institutions.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - This November, the John Ball Zoo and the Grand Rapids Public Museum are asking Kent County voters to pay higher property taxes to support the institutions.

“Because it creates a stable, dedicated source of revenue for the zoo and museum,” explains John Ball Zoo Chief Executive Peter D'Arienzo.

“This proposal will allow the zoo and the museum to make needed and repairs and improvements,” adds Grand Rapids Public Museum President.

If the voters approve, property owners would pay an additional .44 mills dedicated to John Ball Zoo and the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

The tax would cost about $40 per year for the average property owner.

Supporters say the benefits would be huge.

“Both of these institutions are vital to what makes our community great,” says supporter Lyman Parks, Jr.

“Our community deserves and needs this,” says Grand Rapids Board Of Education member Wendy Falb.

But, popular as the zoo and public museum may be, there is always some resistance to higher taxes.

“Any request to raise taxes is going to have proponents and opponents,” says Kent County Administrator Daryl Delabbio.

And the tax increase is on the bottom of the long November ballot. Supporters say voters can’t quit before they get to the question.

“You are not through until you vote yes for the zoo and the museum,” rhymes D’Arienzo.

“With your support we can ensure that the zoo and museum are part of the west Michigan culture and history for years to come,” says Parks.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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