JACKSONVILLE, Ore. – Residents voted not to approve a 5 percent food and beverage tax on restaurants on Tuesday evening. The results show that 65 percent of voters voted “no”. 35 percent of the voters voted “yes”.
Doug Philips, chief petitioner for Measure 15-180, said while he was disappointed with Tuesday night’s election results, he was glad that residents had the opportunity to choose how their public safety department is funded.
“People talked, that’s all we wanted people to make a decision and if they choose not to do that then they talked, that’s our goal, we wanted that, we wanted to give them a choice and we gave them a choice, “said Philips.
If passed, the measure would have replaced a city council-approved utility surcharge of USD 20 implemented in July.
Philips said it would help take much of the tax burden off locals and distribute it to tourists who eat in restaurants.
Much of the opposition to the measure came from local restaurant owners who said they would damage their businesses and push customers away.
Despite the results, Philips said he was glad so many people in the community showed their support. He hopes this will inspire many others to deal with local issues that affect them.
“We’re going to focus on getting the people involved in city government. We’re going to look for more people to run for city council and move on from there,” said Philips.