Voters renew tax to support Potter Park Zoo

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Ingham County voters leaned heavily toward renewing a property tax to support Potter Park Zoo.

With 81 percent of precincts reporting, 77 percent of voters elected to renew a 0.41 mill tax to support the Lansing zoo. For the owner of a $200,000 home, this tax costs $41 a year. Because it is a renewal, residents’ taxes did not go up.

Potter Park and the Potter Park Zoo have been a staple of the Lansing community for more than 100 years, since 1915. The park and zoo were under control of the city of Lansing until 2006, when the cost of maintaining the zoo became too big a burden for the city.

To keep this property alive, Mayor Virg Bernero and his administration requested control of the zoo be handed over to Ingham County in 2006. Within the request he asked that a property tax millage be included to support the zoo. The choice to hand over control of the park was voted on later that year in the November general election.

The millage, which was set at 0.46 for the first election, passed easily with 64.46 percent of the county voting to continue supporting and improving the zoo, meaning Ingham County residents with a property value of $200,000 were required to pay $46 under the new proposal. Since then the millage tax has decreased to 0.41, and was renewed in Michigan’s 2010 general election.

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