Want to know more?  Read the position paper by clicking here.

In a nutshell ...

Franklin County voters are urged to vote "NO" on Issue 6, a $33 million permanent property tax increase much of which will be used to build a third zoo facility near the site of the to-be-demolished Veterans Memorial.  The third zoo will be in addition to the 588 acre Delaware County facility and the 10,000 acre Muskingum County facility known as "The Wilds."  Few taxpayers are aware that the Zoo owns this wildlife conservation center in Zanesville. 

  1. The proposed tax increase doubles what Franklin County residents currently pay in property taxes to the zoo.  This permanent property tax will increase taxes from $21.29 to $43.75 per $100,000 of property valuation.  That's a 105% tax increase.  A "NO" vote will not take any money away from the Columbus Zoo.
  2. The Columbus Zoo is actually located in Delaware County and The Wilds is located in Muskingum County but ONLY Franklin county residents pay zoo property taxes.  NEITHER Delaware County nor Muskingum County residents pay property taxes to the Zoo.
  3. Columbus already has the 5th highest tax burden of major cities throughout the United States and highest property tax rates of any major city in the United States. (USA Today, February 17, 2014).  You can read that article by clicking here.
  4. Zoo management hasn't been a good steward of taxpayer funds.  In the three year period since 2009 when expenses were $45,451,888, zoo expenses have risen to $56,689,899 in 2012, an increase of almost 25%, well above any consumer price index.  According to the zoo's most recent available federal tax form, it paid seven employees in 2012 compensation totaling $1,883,732, an average of $269,104 per person.  One person even received a severance package totaling $254,740.  Including severance, the CEO was paid $533,315 (most recent IRS form 990 for 2012). 

And here's where it all began ...

Read the minutes from Franklin County Commissioners' meeting in which the levy was approved to be put on the ballot ... As you're reading, ask yourself the extent to which the taxpayers were taken into consideration.  Click here to see the minutes.

Paid for by Citizens for Responsible Taxation, Mary Fontana Lorms, Treasurer.  5606 Maleka Court, Columbus, Ohio  43235