Community Group Opposes Zoo Levy Increase


UPDATED: Monday April 14, 2014 11:59 PM

The Columbus Zoo has big plans if voters say yes to a proposed 1.25 mil property tax in May.

But the plans to expand and improve the world renowned operation are being met with opposition.

The Columbus Action Network is urging Franklin County residents to vote "against" Issue 6. 

The group says the proposal could more than double the Franklin County property tax dollars directed toward the Zoo.

10TV was granted access to the proposed renderings which include a downtown zoo and expanding the Delaware County property with a safari expedition and new animal hospital.

Levy committee co-chair John Kulewicz says the 30 year plan will offer much more.

"We also want to provide more for the community, provide more educational opportunities for children throughout the community more recreation opportunities and a better way to appreciate the conservation efforts that are underway at the Columbus Zoo," Kulewicz said.

The master plan will ultimately cost the Franklin County homeowner $44 a year per $100,000 of property value, whereas the current levy costs $21 a year.

Reverend Joel L. King, Jr. with the Columbus Action Network argues the proposed permanent levy is asking too much of taxpayers.

"It's already a first class zoo so we're not building it up to where it ought to be it's already there, to keep it there let's put another 10 year levy on it at the same reduced price and everybody pays for it, reduce everybody's taxes and everybody enjoy it," he said.

King argues the proposed downtown zoo would serve as an amenity, not a necessity.

He feels taxpayers shouldn't have to bear the burden of the $65 million proposed project in Franklin County.

"If this city is more interested in tigers and monkeys, than they are of their own kids we've got a problem."

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