No Zoo For You

The Kochs aren’t just trying to buy the presidency and seats in Congress. Sometimes they pour their money into tiny little pet projects. Or, in this case, an anti-pet project…

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio receives about 15% of its funding from local taxpayers. According to Jim Maddy, the CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, that’s true of about half of the zoos in North America because “there’s a clear understanding that zoos are educational, and they’re cultural institutions.”

People like zoos. That’s why, as the Columbus Dispatch says, “past zoo levies have sailed to victory” in Ohio. So why did the proposal for a tiny levy increase to continue funding the Columbus Zoo get voted down in Franklin County?

Maybe because the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity poured over $62,000 into an aggressive, misleading campaign branding the levy as a “money grab.” They bought radio ads and even sent mailers telling people that their property taxes would increase by 105%. Heck, you probably would’ve voted against doubling your property taxes too!

Only it wouldn’t have doubled property taxes–it would have doubled the zoo portion of property taxes, which amounts to less than one percent of the total and would’ve cost families an average of about $2 more per month.

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation