TUCSON, Ariz.- Reid Park Zoo supporters are holding out hope for the passage of Proposition 203, which remains too-close-to-call after Tuesday’s election.
By a difference of 350 votes, voters rejected Prop 203, the measure that would impose a temporary one-tenth-of-a-cent sales tax increase to fund improvements at Reid Park Zoo.
Prop 202 passed, garnering 52 percent of the vote. The measure calls for amending the city charter to authorize the tax increase.
Reid Park Zoo’s future is unclear, as both propositions are needed to pass in order to proceed with the initiative.
If Prop 203 decisively fails, the Tucson City Attorney’s Office will assess whether the City Council has the authority to give the tax hike the green light.
However, ballots are still be processed, which has supporters keeping optimistic in a favorable outcome.
"I think they both should pass, I mean the support of the zoo, a lot of people come here. I've been a member for several years,” said Tucson resident Brian Spoor.
"Just waiting and cautiously optimistic I guess is the way to say it so waiting and see what happens,” said Nancy Kluge, president of the Reid Park Zoological Society.
But others believe other solutions should be considered to enhance Reid Park Zoo.
"Maybe we can have some events, maybe raise the entrance fee to raise some more money but I don't really think that it's really necessary to raise our sales tax,” said Tucsonan Kelcie Lanoue.
The sales tax is estimated to generate $8-$10 million annually.
Revenue would be allocated toward various infrastructure improvements and upgrading animal habitats among other uses.
?“We're really excited about the first project that we'll role out under this measure will be Temple of Tiny Monkeys to open in 2018, little marmosets and tamrons, they're about a pound, pound and a half. And that's just the beginning. "