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Voters decide whether to pass zoo propositions

Posted at 6:56 AM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 11:06:12-05

On Tuesday, voters have the chance to approve or vote down Propositions 202 and 203. If approved, it would create a one tenth of a percent sales tax increase to benefit the Reid Park Zoo.

The sales tax hike would start in January 2018 and last until December 2027.

The zoo estimates this tax hike could generate between 8 and ten million dollars per year for the next ten years.

The main goal for the funding: improving the quality of life for the animals and the visitor experience. The zoo has already created a long term master plan for expansion. This tax increase would create the funding to back it.

Prop 202 and 203 must both pass for the one tenth of a percent sales tax increase to take effect. One proposition creates the tax hike, and the other amends the city code to implement it.

A "yes" vote means: new habitats for new species like a pygmy hippo exhibit and a crocodile enclosure, as well as expansion and improvement to existing habitats like the tiger enclosure.

It would allow free field trips for school groups. 35,000 students already visit Reid Park each year, but this could increase those numbers.

A yes vote would also fund maintenance for habitats that need improvements to keep the animals healthy, and more funding for staffing.

A no vote means the sales tax will stay at a combined 8.6%.

We estimate this increase will cost families an extra $7.20 per year or about 60 cents per month.