Blog

Please Send This One Line to WA Lawmakers on Zoo Funding

i Mar 4th by

Alyne Fortgang, Co-founder, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, asks that we send this one subject line to our state legislators (find yours using your address).

We need to oppose HB 1323, which would exempt zoological facilities from having to pay their fair share of taxes. It has advanced to the Rules Committee. More tax dollars means more money to confine, breed and/or capture wild animals into a lifetime of suffering.

Please copy and paste these legislators’ addresses and choose a talking point from below or write your own. Please use this subject line or one that makes it clear that you are against HB1323.

Subject line:  No on HB1323 – No exemption from B&O taxes for zoos

If you have time to write more, here are talking points:

  • Tax income for WA State should go to high priority needs.

  • These Zoological facilities must live within their budget which includes supporting the State in which they reside just like other businesses.

  • The Department of Revenue Fiscal Note estimated loss in tax revenue is about 4 MILLION dollars if this bill is enacted. I believe WA State has important priorities for the revenue which does not include supporting zoological venues that exist primarily for entertainment.

  • Woodland Park Zoo is a PRIVATE organization. It should pay taxes like any other business.

  • Woodland Park Zoo refuses to be transparent with tax payers; it refuses to be subject to the Public Records Act even though through 2017 it has taken about $51,000,000 from King County tax payers (since 2008) and $133,000,000 from Seattle Tax payers (since 2002) – who are ALSO King County tax payers.

  • Woodland Park Zoo argued in the WA State Supreme court that it “…is not administering public programs nor does operation of the zoo implicate core or essential government functions.”  The Supreme Court’s decision in the case accepted the Society’s claim to being a wholly PRIVATE entity performing a private and non-governmental function. It is time the Zoo to stop having its hand out for more money from tax payers.

  • Zoological facilities are primarily entertainment venues. No scientific, evidence-based research supports the Zoo’s claim that zoo visits produce statistically significant educational or conservation gains

  • It’s time for the zoological facilities to live within their budget and pay their fair share of taxes.

 

THANKS for you help in stopping the zoos from getting more of our tax dollars which they will use to confine and breed/capture wild animals.