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Sets in motion a stealth plan to expand zoo into parkland, paving over precious native wildlife habitat.
This parcel tax for the Oakland Zoo is presented as a humane animal care measure, but its real purpose could be anything, even to fund a massive zoo expansion into ecologically rich wildlife and native plant habitat in Knowland Park, Oakland's largest wildland park. It would allow taxpayer funds to be used broadly, even for building a 34,000 square foot restaurant, gift shop, visitor center and office complex beside a rare chaparral plant community used by many species of native wildlife, including mountain lions and the threatened Alameda whipsnake. Zoo executives refuse to consider environmentally superior locations.
Gives millions of dollars in tax revenue to a body that isn't publicly elected.
This hastily-crafted measure would create a troubling precedent of taxing residents to fund a private operator. The nonprofit corporate board running the zoo has no publicly elected members and is not required to follow state public open records laws. A 25-year tax for a privately-run operation, with no true public accountability, is unacceptable.
Zoo already gets public funds from multiple sources and there are too many other needs that are higher priority.
The zoo already takes in millions of dollars in public funding, including Oakland city funds, dedicated hotel taxes, East Bay Regional Park District funds, bonds money and a multimillion-dollar State Parks grant. Schools, libraries, and many other public programs and services should take priority for new taxes - we can't fund everything at once. Zoo executives are saying they don't have enough funds now to care for the animals they already have, so why are they planning on building a huge expansion, which will further increase their operating costs?
Creates burden for low-income seniors.
Low-income seniors who want to apply for an exemption from paying this tax would have to apply each and every year to the zoo operator, creating an additional burden and requiring them to submit their personal financial information to a private entity with no accountability to voters.
|Official text of Alameda County Measure A1||Analysis of Measure A1|
|People and organizations opposing Measure A1||Media coverage of Measure A1|
|Find out how you can help||Click here to get a flyer to distribute|
Paid for by No on A1 to Save Knowland Park, PAC #1351843. Sponsored by East Bay Chapter, California Native Plant Society.
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