ASHLAND, Ore. – The City of Ashland will have to account for a major drop in revenue following COVID-19.
Like many other cities in Southern Oregon, Ashland sees a significant amount of revenue during the tourist season. The city is in a unique position however with their Food and Beverage Tax in addition to their Transient Occupancy Tax, both of which are seeing significant drops in revenue.
The City of Ashland is expecting to lose around $6 million from those two tax revenues alone.
“A little over $3 million for each of those revenue streams, is our current projection,” said Adam Hanks, Interim City Administrator for the City of Ashland.”
The loss will impact Ashland residents directly. The Transient Occupancy Tax funds the city’s general fund.
“Public safety, police, fire, ambulance, our parks operation funding comes from there,” said Hanks.
The Parks Commission has already laid-off some employees. Debt payments for the Waste Water Treatment Plant and some street projects are funded by the Food and Beverage Tax.
“It’s dealing with moving projects around, delaying projects and figuring out how to make sure debt payment is made, possibly from our Waster Water Fund, rather than this funding stream,” said Hanks.
The Mayor of Ashland and Ashland City Council have met to discuss the revenue shortfall and solutions to manage it. Those meetings are public and can be found HERE.
“Empty positions won’t get filled, we look at any sort of restricting and just kind of structural or systemic cost reductions that we can do,” said Hank
The City of Ashland says they’re in contact with state and local representatives and are working to ensure Ashland businesses have relief funding to maintain operations because if businesses are closed, so are those critical revenue streams.