ashland.news
May 26, 2024

Letter: ‘This measure is unsound’

April 18, 2023

I am voting no on ballot Measure 15-214 because it is totally unnecessary to extend Ashland’s food and beverage (AFB) tax now, and because this measure is unsound in how it proposes to allocate the tax revenues it generates.

Measure 15-214 extends the food and beverage tax expiration to 2040, 17 years hence. The current measure expires, per voter approval, in seven years, in 2030. There is no need to rush, no need to decide now, to extend this tax. We voters will have better information closer to 2030 and can then make an informed decision.

Measure 15-214 would also dedicate 98%, up from 25%, of AFB tax receipts to the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission. It is interesting to note that many pro-15-214 statements tout APRC’s achievements and contributions rather than specifically address 15-214’s terms. Thus, they don’t explain why the need to vote now to extend this tax, and why a full 98% of its revenues must go to APRC.

These merit-based arguments might be appropriate were we voting to award a cash prize to one of our high-achieving city departments. But we are not, we are voting on allocation of tax receipts. APRC should get back in line with our other city departments and accept their share of a need-based allocation of our city tax dollars, as determined by our elected city officials, city manager and volunteer Citizens’ Budget Committee.

Please join me in voting no on Measure 15-214.

Debbie Mattsson

Ashland

Picture of Jim

Jim

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