Columbus Chamber Announces Support for State Issue 1, Zoo Levy

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Columbus, OH – The Board of Directors of the Columbus Chamber yesterday passed resolutions supporting yes votes on two issues that will be on the Primary Election ballot May 6—State Issue 1 and Local Issue 6. Both endorsements were approved upon the recommendation of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Steering Committee.

State Issue 1, Renewal of the State Capital Improvements Program

Ohio has in place a state program of support for local communities, which helps to fund infrastructure projects and creates large numbers of construction and allied jobs. The Ohio State Capital Improvements Program has successfully provided support for more than 11,500 projects and resulting job creation since its inception in 1987. Issue 1 gives Ohio voters the opportunity to renew the program by authorizing issuance of $1.875 billion in capital improvement bonds, and no new taxes are required to fund repayment of the bonds.

“The Capital Improvements Program is critical to ensuring a beneficial business environment in our state,” said Michael Dalby, president and CEO, Columbus Chamber. “The Columbus Chamber Board of Directors supports State Issue 1, and we urge Ohio voters to cast their votes in support of continuing the infrastructure improvement and job creation Issue 1 will foster.”

Local Issue 6, Columbus Zoo Levy-Continual and Additional Funding

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s current 10-year, .75 mill levy, which is set to expire in 2015, will be replaced by a permanent 1.25 mill levy if approved by the voters on May 6. Since passage of the last levy, the zoo has reduced the amount of expenses for operations from 20 percent to less than 15 percent. An independent economic analysis has identified that the Columbus Zoo delivers an annual $238 million economic impact on central Ohio, with more than two million visitors annually. The additional levy dollars will help fund Zoo operations, Downtown Adventure operations and debt service for the Downtown Adventure, and the balance of funding would support the zoo’s capital needs.

“With its national and global recognition, as well as its tremendous economic impact, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of our most visible and important community assets. The Columbus Chamber Board of Directors endorses a yes vote on the continual levy because it provides the zoo the opportunity to plan for the future instead of on a project-by-project basis and to secure funding in a financially sound manner,” Dalby said.

The Columbus Chamber’s Government Affairs Steering Committee identifies public policies that foster job creation and economic development and advises the Chamber staff and Board on how to best advocate for those policies. Learn more about the Chamber’s government relations services at http://columbus.org/solutions/government-relations.

About the Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions to help businesses thrive. Founded 130 years ago, the Columbus Chamber has evolved to become the largest business services organization and primary advocate for the Columbus Region business community. Leveraging a customized, consultative approach to support members that range from small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises, the Columbus Chamber is helping to grow the Columbus Region economy one business at a time. For more information, visit columbus.org.