A Millage Renewal Won’t Raise Taxes from Current Levels

  • In 2008, voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties approved a one-tenth mill property tax for 10 years to support the Detroit Zoo.
  • A proposal for renewal of the millage will appear on the August 2016 ballot in the three counties.
  • Property taxes will not increase from the current rate if the renewal is approved.
  • For a homeowner whose home is worth $200,000, the cost remains $10 a year.

How Millage Revenue is Used

  • About one-third of the Detroit Zoo’s $35 million annual costs are covered by the millage; it is used for operations and maintenance of the Zoo’s 125-acre campus.
  • Enhancements since 2008 include expanded regional education programs, animal care programs, energy-efficiency upgrades, infrastructure improvements, animal habitat renovations, and pathway and parking lot resurfacing.
  • Tri-county residents receive a $10 discount on memberships, free days for senior citizens and other benefits. The millage enables the Zoo to keep admission prices low.

The Zoo is an Economic Contributor to the Tri-County Region

  • The Detroit Zoo is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.4 million visitors annually.
  • According to CSL International’s “Economic Impact of the Detroit Zoo” report, the Detroit Zoo generated more than $100 million in economic impact for the community in 2013 through operations, vendors and visitors. It provides 1,082 full- and part-time jobs. As visitation grows, the economic impact is also likely to increase.

This Zoo is More Than a Zoo

  • The Detroit Zoo has impacts beyond the borders of its 125-acre campus.
  • The Zoo is recognized as a leader in education, wildlife conservation and animal welfare and for providing sanctuary for endangered animals in need of rescue.
  • The Zoo received the 2015 Green Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in recognition of its continuous efforts in sustainability – including building the first zoo-based dry biodigester in the country – and was also named Advocate of the Year by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.
  • Also in 2015, the Detroit Zoological Society was named Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain’s Detroit Business.