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A couple of years ago voters in two counties in the Kansas City metro (Jackson, Clay) voted for a sales tax increase of 1/8-cent in order to provide new funding for the already terrific Kansas City Zoo.

I voted to increase my sales tax because unlike teabaggers, I think that if you want to live in a vibrant, interesting city you have to pay for it.  Today our investment paid off with the opening of the zoo's new $15M Helzberg Penguin Plaza.  

I visited our zoo today to see our tax dollars at work and I wasn't disappointed.  I noted with interest as I strolled through the parking lot how many Johnson County, KS license plates there were - as usual, Kansans benefiting from Missouri taxpayers (although they do pay a higher admission, so I suppose it's a wash).

There are currently 40 penguins in the exhibit with additional penguins planned.  My favorite was the spectacular yellow and black King penguin, although they were all pretty adorable.

I'll start with a few shots of the exterior of the new exhibit.  On the plaza in front of it there's a depiction of the Southern Hemisphere with a notation of where different penguins live, as well as a footprint of each.  Nice touch.

Helzberg Penguin Plaza

Helzberg Penguin Plaza

Helzberg Penguin Plaza

Here are some photos I took of the stars of the show.  I'm so glad I voted to raise my sales tax!  

Penguins Kansas City Zoo

Penguins Kansas City Zoo

Penguins Kansas City Zoo

Penguins Kansas City Zoo

Penguins Kansas City Zoo

Penguins Kansas City Zoo

Penguins Kansas City Zoo

Penguins Kansas City Zoo

Penguin Kansas City Zoo

Penguin Kansas City Zoo

I'm grateful to live in a progressive city where people understand that nothing is free, and if you want nice things....you have to pay for them.  Thank you, Kansas City!

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