Jacksonville city council votes to cut 40% of chamber’s budget

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. – The Jacksonville City council has voted to defund a significant portion of the Chamber of Commerce’s annual budget.

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce relies heavily on revenue created by the city’s lodging tax on short-term rentals.

Currently, the Chamber receives 50 percent of the money generated from the tax.

Now, it’s share will drop to 30 percent.

The Chamber of Commerce, upset by the decision, is speaking out.

The director of the Chamber said city council should be supporting them, not taking away funding, as the city counts on the chamber to provide tourism and marketing services.

City council reportedly plans to use the funds to create a new museum in town.

The worry now is how this will affect local businesses as the chamber will not be able to advertise like it use to.

“Our businesses rely heavily on the tourism industry in that summer period we’re bringing into town,” director of the Jacksonville Chamber Amanda Moreira said. “So without having that we cannot bring outsiders from California or upper state of Oregon in the area to in visit them to what Jacksonville has to offer.”

Moreira added the funding they receive pays for their employees, the visiting information center, advertising and much more.

It’s unclear how much money will be lost, as the revenue from the lodging tax changes on a year-to-year basis.

The Chamber hopes that enough residents and business owners will speak out so the council can make additional changes.

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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