Columbus Zoo Levy Fails, Cleveland Sports Tax Passes

May 7, 2014

Voters in Ohio's two largest counties have gone in opposite directions on using taxpayers' money for leisure pursuits. 

Franklin County residents rejected a permanent tax hike that would pay for improvements to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and build a downtown facility. Cuyahoga County voters approved extending a 20-year tax to fund Cleveland's three major sports venues. The Cuyahoga tax extension is expected to raise at least $260 million over 20 years. It will be distributed to the Browns' FirstEnergy Stadium, the Indians' Progressive Field and the Cavaliers' Quicken Loans Arena. The Franklin County measure, rejected by 70 percent of the voters after a contentious campaign, would have raised millions for a downtown satellite zoo and other projects. Supporters say they will try again.