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Ashland will discuss taxes

Ashland's City Council will consider Tuesday whether to ask voters to renew the city's sales tax on prepared food and beverages until 2030 and make changes to the tax.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main St. The meeting is open to the public.

The council previously decided to ask voters in November whether they want to renew the 5 percent tax on prepared foods and drinks sold at restaurants, grocery store delis and catered events.

The tax will sunset in 2010 if it's not renewed. Currently, 80 percent of the tax goes to make debt payments for past upgrades to the sewage treatment plant, while 20 percent goes for park land purchases.

City staff members have suggested that voters be asked to renew the tax until 2030, with the City Council able to reduce or end the tax after a public hearing before that time.

Payments on current sewage treatment plant debt end in 2022, but the added years of revenue could pay for plant improvements needed in the future, staff said in a memo to City Council members.

Staff members are proposing that 80 percent of the tax be used for capital projects including sewage needs. The remaining 20 percent could be used by the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department for buying land, planning and development for parks and major rehabilitation projects.

— Ashland Daily Tidings