South Bend zoo pushes for countywide tax to support upgrades

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By: Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The Potawatomi Zoo is pushing for a 0.25 percent food and beverage tax across St. Joseph County to support upgrades to the South Bend facility.

Zoo officials presented the proposal Tuesday in an effort to bolster the facility’s 20-year, $37 million master plan. Executive director Marcy Dean tells the South Bend Tribune that a countywide tax makes more sense than a citywide tax because the Potawatomi Zoo is an economic driver for all of St. Joseph County.

The zoo expects the tax to generate about $1 million in annual revenue for improvements such as new animal exhibits, an education center, a restaurant and new play areas.

Officials believe the upgrades could nearly double the amount of annual visitors at the zoo.