PAC forms to oppose Columbus Zoo's May levy


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s proposed tax levy now faces organized opposition.

Dan McCormick of Upper Arlington, co-founder of Citizens for Responsible Taxation, said Franklin County voters can’t afford the taxes it would take to build a new zoo facility on the Scioto peninsula.

“If we say no to this, they don’t get one penny less than they’re getting now,” McCormick said, because the zoo’s current levy doesn’t expire until the end of next year. “If you say no, animals will get fed; people will be paid; membership dues won’t go up.”

His group filed paperwork to form a political-action committee March 6 with the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Issue 6, a 1.25-mill levy that would replace the zoo’s current 0.75-mill levy, will appear on the May 6 ballot. The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $44 a year while the current levy, which expires in 2015, costs that same homeowner $21 a year.

Phil Pikelny, chairman of the zoo board of directors and an executive at Dispatch Printing Co., the parent company of ThisWeek Community News, said zoo officials always go on the ballot a year prior to a levy expiring to ensure a levy’s success at the ballot.

“We’re doing nothing differently than we’ve done with any other levy,” he said.

Read the full story in the March 13 edition of ThisWeek News.