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Animals on ballot in next Tucson election

Ballot will ask for sales tax hike to benefit zoo
Animals on ballot in next Tucson election
Posted at 7:40 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 22:40:08-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some real animals will be on the ballot in the next Tucson election---at least indirectly.

Tucson voters will decide whether to approve a small jump in sales tax to help improve the Reid Park Zoo.

Fireball the Rhino knows all about mudslinging---but he's never been political about it.
But now an election may give Fireball, other animals, and zoo visitors a zoo upgrade better than ticket sales and fundraising can cover on their own.
The Malaysian tigers could get a better habitat where you can see them, and they can see you better than before.

It's been a popular feature at the zoo to actually feed certain animals, like the giraffes.  But the zoo is looking at adding some other attractions where you can feed different animals as well.

There'd be a play area for kids, and a lodge that can be a break from the heat and a location for business events.
To pay for repairs and upgrades, the Reid Park Zoological Society wants to convince Tucson voters to raise the sales tax 1/10th of one percent. That requires a yes vote on two propositions: 202 and 203.

Zoological Society President Nancy Kluge says, "We wouldn't stop fundraising. We would be planning to raise about 15 million for capital projects as well.  In addition to that we know public funding helps attract private dollars."
Opponents say they pay plenty of sales tax already.  They say donate to support the zoo and buy more tickets to go there.
Alyssa Dunne says she's already a member at the zoo and wouldn't mind adding a small slice to the sales tax.

"I don't think anyone would really notice it gone but the zoo would absolutely have the effect of it and it would be pretty cool like I said.”
Remember that plan to let you feed other animals? The idea would apply to the rhinos so you could get to know Fireball a little bit better.