Potawatomi Zoo asks for food and drink tax

The Potawatomi Zoo is asking for St. Joseph County consumers’ help to fund its renovations

They’re proposing a zoo tax that would add an additional tax for diners eating or drinking out.

“That would essentially fund the zoo’s master plan,” Marcy Dean, executive director of the Potawatomi Zoo said.

That master plan includes new activities for visitors and new facilities for some of the animals.

It’s set to be done over the next 15 to 20 years

But if the state legislature and local councils agree to the tax, Dean says the plan would be done in at least half that time.

“We can take 15 to 20 years, and make that dream a reality in five to 10,” Dean said.

Dean says the tax is fair because even if you don’t visit the zoo, it provides a service to the community.

“The zoo is an economic driver, we are a quality of life initiative, we are an animal welfare organization,” Dean said.

The tax would add an additional .25% to food and beverage purchases.

“If you go into a restaurant and have a hundred dollar meal, it is 25 cents that would be added on to your bill,” Dean said.

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