Covering Louisiana

Mar 17, 2014 4:26 PM by AP

Audubon wants to regroup after voters reject tax

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Audubon Nature Institute's CEO wants to regroup after voters rejected a proposed new 50-year tax for the non-profit which operates several attractions including New Orleans' zoo and aquarium.

Ron Forman tells WVUE-TV that admissions and concessions revenue will be enough for operating costs but expansion plans will be put on hold.

The new tax would have replaced a 0.4-mill tax approved in 1972 for zoo improvements and maintenance, and a 3.8-mill tax approved in 1986 to build the Aquarium of the Americas. The New Orleans City Council rolled collections back to 3.31-mills in 2008 to reflect widespread higher property values after a citywide reassessment. That tax expires in 2021 and the zoo millage ends in 2022.

Nearly two-thirds of voters rejected the new 50-year proposal in Saturday's election.

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