- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a bill changing the rules for sales tax increases to fund the St. Louis Zoo.

The Senate gave first approval in voice vote on Thursday. It needs one more vote before it goes to the House.

Sponsor Sen. Gina Walsh said the bill will allow the zoo to raise money to remain a largely free attraction.

The bill allows ballot initiatives to be brought in St. Louis to raise taxes by up to an eighth of a percent to fund the zoo. Current law allows a half-percent raise.

It also caps the total tax at 1 percent for surrounding counties and 2 percent in the city. The bill allows the zoo to charge admission for newly-built facilities.

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