Grand Rapids Voice Question of the Week:

question markThe Grand Rapids voice will try will to introduce a new question each week for your consideration,  As always, the public’s comments are welcome.  Please keep your comments clean and we will post them.      -GRV-


QUESTION:   Are Non-profits and 501 C3  Economic Development Companies having a negative impact on the economic life in the area?

According taxemptworld .com, there are 467 tax exempt organizations in Itasca County.  Their reported total annual income is over $227 million.  (see link:

Although many of these organizations are small and deserve to be tax exempt, some of these organizations are rather large.  Maybe some of these larger groups should have their non-profit tax exempt status re-examined.   They pay little or no taxes.  The fact that they do not pay taxes means that the citizens and businesses are picking up more of the local tax bill.


Why are there so many vacant buildings?

Grand Rapids Voice asks you the public for your opinion and your comments on the question of why are there so many businesses and commercial properties in the area that are vacant, for sale or for rent?

Is there something happening here that’s causing these vacancies that we can correct?

As more and more private homes and commercial properties come on the market for sale, what does it do to your home value and ultimately you and your families wealth?

Would it be nicer to live in a home that is appreciating in value instead of one that is depreciating in value? Where is this value going and who receives it? Can we stop the bleeding or is it our ultimate destiny?

We have posted photos of a few of the more obvious closed businesses and or properties for sale or rent on the main streets of Grand Rapids and will be posting more photos as we widen the scope of this article.

Do we need a new direction?  Is there need to hold elected officials more accountable?  Is there need to vote for or hire new leadership?  Is there need for  more money for economic development and less government intervention or is there a need for more government involvement?

These are the topics on which we would like you, the people and your voice be heard. We will allow you to comment anonymously however we reserve the right to edit out any profanity and explicit or inappropriate content. We will be expanding the list of properties over the coming months along with your comments.

In the future the scope of this post will be expanded to include listings of non-property tax paying and tax advantaged properties in the area.  Many of these properties are city owned, county owned and nonprofit owned parcels and are listed on the county tax roles. Your comments are welcome.


Sorry folks, I felt that the comments on Muslims were diverting us off of the topic regarding closed businesses in Grand Rapids.  So I pulled them from the post.  The comments on Muslims  have not been deleted.  Maybe we could  begin a different discussion of the Muslim issue as it also seems to be a “Hot Button Item”.  Thanks for your understanding.   -GRV Moderator-