Letters to the Editor October 15

Geppetto's must pay meals tax to the city

Mr. Ron Roth of Geppetto's does not have the choice of holding the meals tax money he has collected from his patrons. This is not an income tax or a property tax. The people who go to his business have paid this money and expect him to send it to the city. It is not his money to hold. The city of Ashland trusted him to collect this tax and remit to them at the proper time.

I was self-employed and owned two businesses in San Francisco and Naples, Fla., for 28 years. If you did not pay your sales tax, they would not have been as patient as the city of Ashland.

Carl McKirgan

Ashland

Charge tax on vacant business buildings

The statue on top of the Carter Memorial Fountain needs to be replaced. Also, our city needs to institute a monthly fine for business buildings that remain vacant (and this can easily replace revenues from the meals tax.) While I brought both these issues to the City Council years ago, the destructive image remains upon the fountain, and empty buildings are still empty to this very day. They, like the racist man with the gun, are eyesores showing an absence of care that is unreasonable to exist in Ashland.

Replacing the statue with one that represents some manner of nurturing will be better for the children, will cease to inspire gun-toting lunatics, will uplift the community in general and will fit better with the life-giving act of drinking water. And imposing a monthly fine upon business buildings vacant more than a certain period of months will encourage landlords to work with businesses and help our beautiful town better thrive. These matters are obvious and should be tended to by our caring city leaders.

Patti Morey

Ashland

Vote no on meals tax

In a recent phone survey, it was found that the sales tax on food costs the Ashland economy $22.4 million in lost revenue from people in Jackson County who refuse to support a town with a sales tax.

Proponents of the tax say, "Oh, those people don't come here anyway," hinting that there's some kind of animosity. That may be true to some extent, but it's not the whole truth.

In the survey, 91 out of 120 people said they never come to Ashland. When a follow-up question asked, "If the meals tax was eliminated, would you eat out more often in Ashland?" 51.8 percent of them said yes.

That means that 48.2 percent said no. They either: 1) Don't eat out at all or, 2) they harbor some animosity toward Ashland.

My question is: Why would we not encourage the 51.8 percent to return to our fair city? Why are we clumping them with the minority who bear grudges?

Please join me in voting no to extend the sales tax on food. During these hard economic times, working families need all the help we can get, and to throw away $22 million just to get $400,000 from the tourists is not the way to do it.

Sharon Feil-Filipowicz

Ashland

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