TOPEKA (KSNT) – On a normal fall afternoon the mini-train is making noise across Gage Park, but on November 8th, a ballot question will be making the noise.

Currrently the Topeka Zoo is privately funded and funded by city taxes. Gage Park is funded by county property taxes. The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center isn’t receiving any tax dollars. The new proposal would switch that funding to a sales tax.

Steve Hare, a Shawnee County resident of over 30 years, doesn’t like that plan.

“Well I think it’s just one more tax on top of another tax, Hare said. “The only way you can remove it is to put another proposal in front of the voters. This is a permanent tax.”

  • Shawnee County says the tax would generate around $8 million per year.
  • 58% of that would go to the Topeka Zoo.
  • 22% would go to Gage Park.
  • 15% would go to the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center.
  • The last 5% would go to the Gage Park Improvement Authority — which would only be created if the tax passes.

We’re still sixteen days out from election day, but advocates for the sales tax are already looking into the future.

“I absolutely think it will be successful,” said Rep. Fred Patton (R-Topeka) “All of the entities have their own master plans to bring in more people, and when we bring them together to collaborate even more you’ll see even greater things.”