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Proposed “Oregon Zoo Phase 2” Bond Measure 26-244

This May, voters in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties have the opportunity to vote on a proposed Oregon Zoo bond measure.

Sea otters Juno and Uni Sushi in Steller Cove.

If passed, the Measure 26-244 would fund new projects to protect animal health and well-being, provide conservation education, and conserve water and energy at the zoo. Measure 26-244 would not increase taxes. If passed, the measure would continue the current 2008 Zoo Bond property tax rate, which would otherwise expire in January 2025. If passed, the average estimated tax rate of the proposed bonds would be $0.085 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Voters last approved a zoo bond measure in 2008. Projects funded by that measure were completed in 2021, having upgraded roughly 40 percent of the zoo, with projects including Elephant Lands, Primate Forest, Polar Passage, Condors of the Columbia, a veterinary medical center and an education center.

If passed, Measure 26-244 would initiate a second phase of projects in parts of the campus not upgraded through the 2008 bond measure. These include some of the zoo’s oldest animal areas, educational exhibits, visitor facilities and infrastructure.

Proposed priorities

If the proposed measure passes, project priorities include the following:

  • Updating aging exhibits with more natural, modern habitats, including but not limited to penguins, sea otters and giraffes.
  • Upgrading facilities that provide educational opportunities for children and other zoo visitors to learn about animals and habitat conservation.
  • Conserving water and energy in zoo operations and updated infrastructure.
  • Upgrading facilities supporting the zoo’s conservation work protecting and restoring threatened and endangered species in the Northwest and beyond.
  • Increasing accessibility for visitors of all abilities, including improved paths and exhibits.
  • Upgrading protection from heat and extreme weather for animals and visitors.
  • Upgrading facilities to prepare for animal care in a natural disaster or emergency.

Proposed bond

If passed, Measure 26-244 would authorize up to $380 million in general obligation bonds for Oregon Zoo habitat, facility and infrastructure updates.

The proposed measure would continue the current property tax rate, which would otherwise expire in January 2025.

If the measure passes, the average estimated tax rate would be $0.085 per $1,000 of assessed property value — about $1.95 per month or $23.40 per year for a property assessed at $275,000. Bonds may be issued in multiple series and mature in 30 years or less.

If the proposed measure passes, a detailed bond implementation plan would be presented to the Metro Council within four months of the May election.

If the measure does not pass

If the proposed measure does not pass, the projects would not be completed as proposed and the current zoo bond tax rate would expire in 2025.


If passed, the proposed measure would require a community oversight committee to monitor program spending and provide annual reports to the Metro Council and the public. The proposed measure would also require annual financial audits.