A bill in the Missouri Senate would give voters the opportunity to vote for a small sales tax to support the St. Louis Zoo.
If approved, the new taxing district would include St. Louis city and county, and the counties of St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin. The vote would permit the levying of up to one-eighth of a cent for the Zoo. A poll conducted last year in Franklin County indicated that there was support for a tax for the Zoo.
Under the bill, if it passes, it would be up to the county commission to put the issue on the ballot. Commissioners haven’t warmed up to a Zoo tax. But there is no justification for not giving people the opportunity to vote.
Whether we like it or not, Franklin County is part of metro St. Louis. We enjoy the many attributes of St. Louis. As far as the Zoo is concerned, one might be correct in saying the majority of Franklin Countians started going to the Zoo at a young age and still go. For many, the fact that it is free makes it even more attractive. The St. Louis Zoo probably is the only large zoo in the country that has no admission charge.
To keep the free admission benefit, more revenue is needed.
We believe a sales tax of one-eighth of one cent is so small that most people will not even notice it.
There’s an anti-tax mood and we understand why. People believe they are overtaxed and there is no question that waste of taxpayers’ money in some instances is hard to digest.
But a Zoo tax is easy to digest because of the joy it brings to so many people.