JACKSONVILLE, Ore. -- Residents voted not to approve a 5 percent food and beverage tax on restaurants Tuesday night. Results show 65 percent of voters voted 'no.' 35 percent of voters voted 'yes.'
Doug Philips, Chief Petitioner of measure 15-180, said while he is disappointed in Tuesday night's election results, he is happy residents had the opportunity to choose how their public safety department is funded.
"The people have spoken, that's all we wanted was for the people to make a decision and if they choose not to do this then they've spoken, that's our goal, we wanted to have that, we wanted to give them a choice and we gave them a choice," Philips said.
If passed, the measure would have replaced a $20 utility surcharge that was approved by the City Council and implemented in July.
Philips said it would help take much of the tax burden off locals and spread it to tourists who eat at restaurants.
Much of the measure's opposition came from local restaurant owners who said they felt it would hurt their business and push away customers.
Philips said even with the results, he is glad so many people in the community showed their support. He said he hopes this inspires many others to get involved with local issues that affect them.
“We’ll concentrate on getting people involved in the city government, we’re going to start looking for more people to run for City Council and carry on from there," Philips said.