2030 NOT 2040
Vote “NO”, make sure the Food & Beverage tax (FBT) end date remains 2030!
There is still 7 years remaining on the FBT. No need to extend it now.
We Ashland voters need to remember the FBT is a sales tax we voted to put on ourselves. We pay this tax every time we go out, visitors only pay it when they visit Ashland. If there becomes a need as we get closer to 2030, voters can always extend FBT.
Extending the FBT end date to 2040 would create 17 more years of tax life our local businesses charge sales tax. This Food & Beverage tax extension could be used as collateral for Parks revenue bonds (up to $20M or more) and put Ashland’s taxpayers (YOU!) further in debt. Ashland at present has a projected $4.3 Million budget deficit (Per Town Hall 1/30/23). Bond debt will make deficits catastrophically worse. Any voter passed FBT bonds reduce funds available for City or Park operations, rehabilitation or maintenance and other day to day bills.
This referendum makes the FBT a dedicated revenue source for Parks only and removes streets repair from FBT fund uses. And instead of FBT paying for streets as originally promised, you now pay a Street User Fee on your utility bill of $9.58 per month per family. This generates more than $1.3 Million in added taxes on Ashland families. Let’s use FBT revenue to pay for family’s Street User utility fees instead of double taxation. A FBT extension to 2040 is also a risk to maintaining our current beautiful parks with funds tied up buying more land and funding capital projects. At its 2/8/23 ARPC meeting, Director Black presented a CIP wish list of $16million! Increased debt!
Let’s reduce Ashland family debt, not increase it.
Vote “NO” on this ill-advised referendum.