Millage Levy Proposal

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can vote?

Registered voters who reside within the City of Grand Rapids may vote on November 7, 2017. You do not need to be a homeowner to vote.

  • To register to vote or for additional voting information, visit
  • The last day to register to vote is October 10, 2017.
  • The last day to request an absentee ballot from the City Clerk’s office is Saturday, November 4, 2017.

What does the millage pay for?

This millage will help pay for the operations of the library including all library materials, technology, staff, programs and building maintenance. Funds from this millage will be used to:

  • accelerate preschool and kindergarten reading readiness
  • lead in digital streaming and eBooks
  • maintain high quality library facilities and create community spaces responsive to neighborhood needs.

Why is the Grand Rapids Public Library requesting a millage?

In 1997, voters approved a library millage to renovate the Main Library and make improvements to branches, including building new branches. That millage expires in 2017. The November 7 vote asks voters to continue the library millage that homeowners already pay. GRPL will use these funds for operating the library, rather than capital expenditures. Because of this, the measure will be lists on the ballot as a new tax.

Do people still use the library?

Yes. Last year over 1.5 million people used GRPL and checked out or downloaded nearly 1.6 million items. 246,338 people used library computers and WiFi and 52,833 people benefited from library outreach, events and classes.

How much will this cost homeowners?

0.3741 mills equates to about .04 cents per $1,000 of taxable value. The average home value in Grand Rapids is $100,276. A homeowner with a home valued at $100,276 with a taxable value of $50,138 (taxable value is usually half of the assessed value) would pay $18.76 per year or .36 cents per week.

Will I see a tax increase?

No. Homeowners will pay the same amount they are currently paying.

What happens if the millage does not pass?

The library is currently operating on the same amount of revenue we had in 2006 and purchasing material at 2008 levels. It is currently not sustainable to operate the library with the same amount of money we had 11 years ago. If the millage does not pass, the Board of Library Commissioners may decide to:

  • substantially reduce physical and digital library collections resulting in longer wait time for materials
  • reduce hours at library branches or close branches
  • eliminate outreach to schools and preschools and reduce partnerships with area organizations

Important voting dates

Last day to register to vote

Last day to request an absentee ballot

Election day