I am voting NO on Ballot Measure 15-214 because it is totally unnecessary to extend it 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 year to 2040, seventeen years hence. The current measure expires, per voter approval, in 2030. There is no need to rush, no need to decide now, to extend this tax another ten years. 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 and 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, i.e. why the need to vote NOW to extend this tax, and why a full 98% of the revenues must go to APRC. These merit-based arguments might be appropriate were we voting to award a cash prize to a high-achieving city department. 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 Citizen Budget committee.
Please join me in voting NO on Ballot Measure 15-214.