Two Husch Blackwell attorneys drafted the Missouri legislation that authorized the creation of a Kansas City Zoological District, and they handled legal issues leading up to the passage of the sales tax promoted through “One Zoo for All.” Husch Blackwell Partner and Friends of the Zoo Board Member Hayley Hanson and Husch Blackwell Associate Derek Teeter provided pro bono legal support throughout the process, which began in early 2010.
The one-eighth cent sales tax passed with a vote of approximately 70 percent in Jackson County and 50.9 percent in Clay County. Pending the outcome of ongoing litigation, Cass County and Platte County may include the sales tax issue on a future ballot.
The tax will take effect January 1, 2012, in Jackson and Clay counties. Residents in those counties will enjoy discounted admission rates and four free-days per year. The sales tax will raise an estimated $14 million each year and will enable the Zoo to become more of a regional attraction with new exhibits and new animals.
Passage of the legislation and “One Zoo For All” campaign represents a significant achievement given the prevailing tendency of state and local governments to limit public expenditures in the current economic climate.