JEFFERSON CITY (AP/KMOX) — The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a bill creating new rules for sales tax increases to fund the St. Louis Zoo.

The Senate gave first approval in voice vote — it needs one more vote before it goes to the House. State Sen. Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors) 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 and surrounding counties to raise taxes by up to an eighth of a percent to fund the zoo.

It also caps the total tax at 1 percent for the counties and 2 percent in the city. The bill allows the zoo to charge admission to those outside St. Louis City and County for newly-built facilities.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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