Jackson Co. special election on May 16th includes multiple ballot measures

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – We’re just one week away from the May special election.

In Jackson County, there are two significant measures on the ballot.

In Talent, voters will decide the fate of the city’s ‘Urban Renewal Plan’.

It aims to build more affordable housing, help small businesses and invest in fire prevention programs.

To get funding, the plan proposes re-allocating tax revenue from various government districts like Jackson County Fire District 5, which has campaigned against the plan.

For Ashland, a change to the city’s ‘food and beverage tax’ is on the table.

A ‘yes’ vote would not increase the tax, but change the way revenue from it can be distributed.

“Right now the food and beverage tax is very much restricted to capital improvements,” Ashland Mayor Tonya Graham said. “To things we can build. We need more flexibility so we can also use it for operating expenses to do the day-to-day work. And we want make sure that we’re using it for something residents care about and also are things that are used by our visitors.”

This measure would allow more funding to be sent to the parks and recreation department.

Mayor Graham said the city sees $3 million in revenue from the tax annually.

If the measure passes, the tax would continue another 10 years until 2040.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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