Economic Development, Government, and Real Estate

Kent County exempts property tax revenue from North Quarter Corridor

January 25, 2013
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County may sell riverfront site

As expected, Kent County commissioners followed the county’s economic development policy and exempted a portion of the county’s property tax revenue from being captured by the North Quarter Corridor Improvement Authority in Grand Rapids.

The vote was 13-4.

Commissioners Jim Talen and David Bulkowski, who represent portions of the city on the county commission, tried to make the case for not opting out. Both felt being part of the North Quarter would be good for the county down the road.

But Commissioners Stan Ponstein and Joel Freeman argued that the city already captures enough of the county’s tax revenue, especially the city’s Downtown Development Authority, and losing more revenue would mean the county would have fewer dollars to fund its services.

The North Quarter CIA includes the business and neighborhood groups in the Creston, Cheshire and North Monroe districts. The area has 275 businesses and 10,800 properties.

Commissioners also appointed The Right Place President and CEO Birgit Klohs to the Kent County Aeronautics Board. Klohs replaces former Amway Hotel Corp. President Joseph Tomaselli on the panel, who retired at the end of last year.

“Her professional background in providing national and international customers with location and expansion assistance to West Michigan will be value added to the new energy at the airport,” said Commission Vice Chairman Jim Saalfeld. “There were many very good applicants.”

Klohs currently serves on 10 other boards, including the Convention and Arena Authority as that body’s treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee. Her other board positions include Spectrum Health, Macatawa Bank, and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

Commissioner Dick Vander Molen, who chairs the West Michigan Sports Commission, told the board the commission closed with the county on the sale of the 10 Mile Road property that will be home to the Art Van Sports Complex, where youth and amateur baseball and softball will be played.

The county sold the land to the sports commission for $400,000, even though the site has a market value of $1.65 million. “We now own it,” said Vander Molen of the sports commission. “Thanks to you we’re on our way and we’re going to get this done.”

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