Although there’s little information available to the public yet, it appears the Brookfield village board tonight may vote to impose an amusement tax in the village, one that would directly affect Brookfield Zoo, which has vigorously opposed it.

The village board will meet tonight at
at the municipal building,

8820 Brookfield Ave.

The item appears on tonight’s village board agenda under “new business,” to be considered after a scheduled closed session of the board, which is being convened to discuss litigation and the sale or lease of village property.

Asked why a policy matter such as imposing an amusement tax is being handled in a closed session, Village Manager Riccardo Ginex referred to previous public and private threats by the Chicago Zoological Society, which operates Brookfield Zoo, of filing a lawsuit if the village imposes an amusement tax.

Such a tax would seek to derive revenue from museum admissions, memberships and parking and could amount to $500,000 annually according to village officials. The imposition of the tax would force layoffs and cutbacks at the zoo, say its officials.

The zoo has lobbied state legislators to pass a law prohibiting a municipality from imposing an amusement tax on zoos on land owned by the Cook County Forest Preserve District. The legislation was not acted on during the General Assembly’s fall veto session, which just ended. It could be reconsidered by the Illinois House in January. It already has the approval of the Illinois Senate.

The village board may also take action on an agreement with the zoo tied to the sale of water. A majority of the board previously voted 3-2 to approve the deal, but was later overruled because it had not garnered four votes.