Medford voters turn out in support of lodging tax changes for sports and events complex

Two Medford measures intended to fund the construction of a sports and events complex received their response from voters on Tuesday night.

Posted: May 19, 2020 8:29 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Two Medford measures intended to fund the construction of a sports and events complex received their response from voters on Tuesday night.

With more than 19,000 votes tallied, voters were 57.7 percent in favor of Measure 15-187 for transient lodging intermediaries and 53 percent in favor of Measure 15-188 to raise the transient lodging tax.

Results are still preliminary and may change as more votes are tallied.

The plan for a Medford Sports and Events Complex at the Howard Memorial Sports Park coalesced in February, including a competitive pool, recreational pool with water slides, and outdoor seasonal splash pad, basketball courts, multi-courts, and space for a presentation and exhibit hall.

In order to fund the facility, the City of Medford proposed a two percent increase to the transient lodging tax, expanding the current airport rental car tax to apply to commercial locations across the city, a $2.40 per month increase to the park utility fee, and early repayment of the U.S. Cellular Community Park debt service bond.

"This indoor complex will contain indoor recreational and competitive pools and a multi-purpose events center," the City said. "By combining aquatics and the events center into a single facility, the City reduces both development and operational costs through the sharing of spaces."

Measure 15-187 would amend the city charter to expand the lodging tax to include lodging intermediaries like Airbnb and VRBO, while Measure 15-188 would amend the city charter to raise the lodging tax from 9 to 11 percent.

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