Today the Kent County Taxpayers Alliance (KCTA) announced that it will assist citizens in the cities of Walker and Grandville in a petition drive to remove the cities from the Rapid on November ballot.
The cities of Walker and Grandville have consistently opposed the repeated tax increases levied by the Rapid bus system (Interurban Transit Partnership). In May of 2011, the Rapid raised taxes in a narrow election to fund the Silverline bus rapid transit that does not even travel through either of the two cities. Despite rejecting the tax increase by 67% and 65% respectively, the cities will have to pay the new taxes because their sound rejection was overwhelmed by yes votes from the more populous city of Grand Rapids.
Said KCTA spokesman Eric Larson, “People in the suburbs are frustrated with The Rapid bus service. They find it underutilized, inefficient, and generally wasteful. A number of citizens approached us last year after the tax increase passed seeking some way for their voices to be heard because they felt even a two thirds rejection at the ballot box was not enough to make The Rapid pause with their transit plans.”
“We assisted in a petition plan last summer in Grandville but came up short of the needed signatures to place the question on the ballot. We are confident with the increased time, interest, and frustration at the rising waste in the bus system that we will get the signatures this year. Whether the petition drive extends into Kentwood, Wyoming, East Grand Rapids, and the city of Grand Rapids remains to be seen.”
If the signatures are collected successfully, then in November citizens would be able to vote on whether their city exits The Rapid. The city would no longer pay the Rapid property tax as soon as the renewal has expired. The city would then be able to contract out for its bus service like many other communities in the metro Grand Rapids area.
If you are interested in assisting the petition drives, please contact us through the “Contact Us” menu above.