Special Report: Columbus Zoo Levy

Front entrance to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium(Photo: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)
Front entrance to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium(Photo: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)

Voters in Franklin County will go to the polls on May 6 to decide whether or not to fund a proposed 1.25 mill property tax levy for the Columbus Zoo. WOSU takes a look at the levy request as well as arguments for and against the tax request.

Columbus Zoo sign

Columbus Zoo Levy: What Exactly Is It?
The Columbus Zoo levy is up for renewal, and for the first time in recent memory it has organized opposition as some balk at the size of the increase and its permanence.

Giraffe at Columbus Zoo

Columbus Zoo Levy: A Move To Permanence
Franklin County voters have decided to increase property taxes for the Columbus Zoo four times. In 1985, 1990, 1994 and 2004 voters easily passed temporary levies for the zoo. This year the zoo asks voters to approve a new levy – but this one is different. It’s much larger than past levies.

Proposed Downtown Columbus Zoo

Columbus Zoo Levy: Downtown Zoo
A rain forest tree canopy walkway, down below a crocodile slides along the forest floor, somewhere a Macaw cries out. Below the water’s surface sharks glide through the water… all of this in a three-story building on an acre along the Scioto River.

Elephants at Columbus Zoo

Columbus Zoo Levy: Franklin County Or Delaware County Issue
Many Franklin County voters have a simple question – why are they paying for something in a different county?

Columbus Zoo front entrance

Columbus Zoo Levy: Governance
The Columbus Zoo’s request for a large and permanent property tax increase has prompted a closer look at how it’s run. The zoo is funded through a mix of tax dollars, private donations, admission fees and concessions revenue.