Missouri lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Eric Greitens a measure that gives the St. Louis Zoo a way to raise more money for its operations and infrastructure projects without charging admission.
St. Louis and St. Louis County residents already pay property taxes that support the popular, 100-year-old institution. But zoo officials have said those taxes don’t bring in enough revenue for necessary renovations, maintenance and conservation projects.
The proposal makes use of a current sales tax authorization that allows any county in the state to put a sales tax on the ballot at 0.5 percent. The same tactic was used to increase the sales tax in St. Louis County for public safety, which voters approved in April.
Under the bill, any local sales tax approved by St. Louis or St. Louis County voters for the zoo after Aug. 28 could not exceed one-eighth of 1 percent.
Sponsoring Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, said Thursday that the bill ensures support for the St. Louis Zoo.