Lions, tigers, bears and 10 million taxpayer dollars, oh my!
Not only do visitors from every county across the state financially support the zoo, so too do taxpayers.
Total operating expenses for the zoo are estimated this year at about $18 million. To help cover costs, the zoo collects revenue from admissions, donations and various fees, with the total reaching less than $8 million.
Thus, taxpayers are forced to subsidize the zoo at roughly $10 million per year.
Few would attempt to argue that a core service of state government is to display animals for viewing in our leisure time. The NC Zoo is still another example of something the state compels state taxpayers to subsidize that should instead be financed through voluntary support.
Because it falls well outside the scope of core government services at a time we are constantly told that state government has been “cut to the bone,” taxpayer funding of the North Carolina Zoo is the week’s Waste of the Week.