Missouri lawmakers pass bill on sales tax for St. Louis Zoo - KMOV.com

Missouri lawmakers pass bill on sales tax for St. Louis Zoo

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St. Louis Zoo (Credit: KMOV) St. Louis Zoo (Credit: KMOV)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have approved legislation on sales tax increases for the St. Louis Zoo.

Senators voted 31-2 Thursday to send the bill to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens. House members passed the legislation 110-43.

If signed by Greitens, the bill allow would ballot initiatives to be brought in St. Louis city and St. Louis County to raise taxes by up to one-eighth of a percent to fund the zoo.

The measure also would allow the zoo to charge admission for new facilities for people who live in counties that don't adopt a zoo tax.

The legislation also would further delay the Department of Revenue from notifying taxpayers about a 2012 Missouri Supreme Court decision denying a tax exemption for processing credit and debit card transactions.

Chris Emily says the zoo is the perfect place to take his son. He says they go about twice a month. 

"We rode the train. We did the stingray lagoon, which is awesome," he says. 

Many people who spoke to News 4, like Emily, say they would be okay with a sales tax. 

"This is a big attraction. I wouldn't want to pay to come. I wouldn't mind paying extra to keep it free, to be honest with you," says Jasmine Dodbs. 

The St. Louis Zoo sent News 4 the following statement: 

“We want to thank bill sponsors Gina Walsh and Marsha Haefner for championing bi-partisan legislation that provides the Saint Louis Zoo with additional tools to consider for long-term funding options.  If signed by the Governor, this legislation will add more transparency to existing taxing authority in St. Louis City and County, while also repealing a 1980's municipal distribution law in St. Louis County. A tax is only one of a number of funding options Zoo leaders are exploring to ensure that the Saint Louis Zoo remains world-class, accessible and affordable to all and that so many of the animals we love can be part of the lives of the next generation of Missourians.  Zoo leadership will continue to work with local leaders and to encourage a public discussion on how to address the significant needs of our century-old campus. Most importantly, Zoo leadership remains committed to arriving at an approach that is fair to residents of St. Louis City and County, who have supported the Zoo for decades.” 

  • Joseph T. Ambrose, President, Saint Louis Zoo Association

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