Why I’m voting no on Issue 6

I love the Columbus Zoo. My wife and I buy family membership passes every year, and frequent the park. We love the exhibits, the animals, and enjoying our pleasurable walks through the zoo on warm summer days.

An annual family membership costs us $129 a year. Instead of paying the general admission price, the season pass covers just a bit more than four visits for the two of us. Factor in parking and discounts to other state zoos, and we find this a bargain.

I’m also a property owner and, therefore, a taxpayer. In 2013, I paid $33.26 to support the Columbus Zoo. Issue 6, if passed, would have me paying $68.12, or a 105% increase.

So, if Issue 6 succeeds, on top of the $129 for an annual pass (if I continue to purchase one), I would now be paying nearly $200 a year towards the Columbus Zoo.

For the same zoo.

I’m not even concerned about the satellite rainforest, or any continental upgrades, or the fairness or unfairness of other counties that actually HOST the zoo to contribute some of their own tax dollars. Personally, I could care less about a downtown zoo since I rarely go to that area. I live a whole mile from the main campus, and am just fine with heading there.

I’m concerned for what I’m being asked to give, for nothing that is end-of-earth necessary, to have the exact same experience that I currently enjoy.

The economy absolutely stinks right now. My money is important to me. Every dollar. I’m all for charity and community, but at some point we as a collective citizenry of the city of Columbus need to take stock of what we are being asked to hand over every time some board or official has one of those ideas that they believe are for the greater good. Franklin County has the fifth highest property tax rate in the COUNTRY. I paid $4,010 on my $155,700 home last year. This amount is equivalent to more than three mortgage payments alone, JUST FOR TAX. On a GROSS $50,000/year salary, I would have to work six weeks just to pay the taxes assessed against my property.

Our tax rate is simply outrageous and irresponsible. Moreover, it is outrageous and irresponsible of the citizens of Columbus to have allowed and to continue to allow this to happen. At some point, somewhere, whether at the federal level, the state, or even our own literal back yard, we need to just say “enough, dammit.”

And this is why I stand against Issue 6.

The zoo isn’t going to collapse and fold if Issue 6 doesn’t pass. Animals won’t be running wild in the streets if the majority vote this money grab down. You can still catch Jack Hanna on Letterman if you still watch that show. There’s always another ballot, and another chance for the board of the Columbus Zoo to come up with a more reasonable push to support zoo funding. Like a renewal… hmm…

Voting no means you will be able to keep more of the money you have worked hard to ear in your own pocket.

And maybe you will even have a little more to spend at the Columbus Zoo. Or can afford to bring a guest, for crying out loud.

Stop the monkey business with our taxes.

Vote no on Issue 6.