Recipients of proposed Ashland tax increase unclear

Feb 7, 2013

A proposition to raise taxes in Ashland passed its first approval, but needs clarification as it moves forward.

The Ashland Board of Aldermen approved the first reading of a city sales tax on Tuesday. The plan would call for a rise in sales tax by a half-cent.

Although board members are pushing for this tax increase, they understand that a clearer definition of who will benefit from the tax increase is necessary. Board Member David Thomas said voters should know what they're voting on.

“We're going to get some definition there, to where the people will know exactly what we're looking for on this," Thomas said.

The board has indicated either the departments of storm water maintenance, parks and transportation could receive funds from the tax increase.

Some departments could be left out of funds from the tax increase, but Board Member Charles Crandall said discussion continues on where the funds will go.

“If we could choose between public safety versus parks, then we would ask the voters to consider public safety over parks," Crandall said.

The Board of Aldermen will hold a second vote Feb. 19. If approved, voters will weigh in on the proposal in the August ballot.