Zoo Funding Millage Roars To Success

As millions watched 2016 election results roll in, one win came to the local Lansing zoo.

LANSING – Ingham County residents voted in favor to continue to help fund Potter Park Zoo with the help of taxpayer money Tuesday. The passing of the five-year, 0.41-mill renewal supports Potter Park Zoo in keeping their gates open for visitors from around mid-Michigan.

The millage has been supported by county residents since being introduced on the 2006 ballot. 118 Ingham county precincts voted on renewing the 0.41-mill and a surprising 76% voted in favor of the millage Tuesday.

“I’m grateful to the voters of Ingham County for placing their trust in us once again,” chairperson of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners Kara Hope said. “I’m glad they value the zoo and I’m happy it passed.”

The millage generates the majority of the income that Potter Park Zoo required to stay up and running each year, approximately $2.8 million. Additional revenue is made from admission, making about $600,000 annually, and parking fees, generating around $185,000 annually the Detroit Free Press reports.

“Realistically, it would be very hard for us or the city to operate if for some reason the millage is turned down,” Ingham County Chief Deputy Controller John Nielsen shared.
“The funding comes from an addition to Ingham county property taxes,” Todd Tennis, an Ingham county commissioner, explained. “Since it is a renewal millage, there won’t be an increase in taxes.”

Potter Park Zoo participates alongside national programs such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Species Survival Plan programs. Programs such as these help assure that future generations will be able to see animals that otherwise might be headed for extinction.

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