M.A.R.C. (Myron Orfield) Report

GVMC, through funding of the Frey Foundation, commissioned Myron Orfield (of the Metropolitan Area Research Corporation M.A.R.C.) and Henry Richmond (of 1,000 Friends of Oregon), to create the study entitled, Grand Rapids Area Metropolitics: A West Michigan Agenda for Community and Stability . This document examines critical issues surrounding the social and economic effects of our fragmented and widespread patterns of growth in the Grand Rapids metro area. The Metropolitan Development Blueprint anticipated the need to deal with such issues in a regional context much like the Blueprint itself.

An additional report entitled, Grand Rapids Area Metropolitics: Tax-base Sharing in West Michigan , also written by M.A.R.C. includes specific strategies for launching a tax-base sharing initiative in West Michigan. Such an initiative has not been specifically recommended by the Metropolitan Development Blueprint and various forms of regional financial equity are still being discussed as part of the Blueprint planning process. Therefore, no action is being recommended at this time on this part of the study.

Both studies were inspired by the work of Myron Orfield in the Twin Cities area. Mr. Orfield, who represents a southwest Minneapolis district in the Minnesota House of Representatives, explains his experiences and details strategies employed in devising a tax-base sharing solution for Minneapolis in his book, Metropolitics: A Regional Agenda for Community and Stability, (available in the GVMC Planning Library).

This study of the Grand Rapids Metropolitan Area was conducted for the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council by the Metropolitan Area Research Corporation, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The study was made possible with financial support from the Frey Foundation.