Measures 66, 67 passed easily in Ashland

Measures 66 and 67 passed overwhelmingly in Ashland, despite failing countywide, according to unofficial preliminary election results released Wednesday.

Measure 66 passed by 79 percent in the city and Measure 67 by 78 percent.

"It's very gratifying that the Ashland voters decided to vote in favor and keep our budget intact and help our state move forward," said state Rep. Peter Buckley, an Ashland Democrat who lobbied for passage of the measures.

"I think our voters want to have a solid education for our kids and they show that at every chance they're given the opportunity."

The measures passed statewide by about 54 percent in the Jan. 26 election.

Jackson County as a whole voted against the measures by about 53-47 percent.

The measures, backed by educators and those in the social services sector, will raise taxes by $730 million to fill a portion of a shortfall in the state's 2009-2011 biennial budget for services such as education, health care and public safety.

The overwhelming passage of the measures shows Ashland residents support education, School Board Chairman Keith Massie said.

"I think it's just recognition that Ashland residents realize that public services cost money," he said. "You receive what you pay for and paying for education, paying for public safety, paying for health and humans services is a good investment."

Measure 66 will raise personal income taxes for people earning more than $125,000 and Measure 67 will increase corporate taxes on all businesses, except sole proprietorships.

About 65 percent of Ashland's 13,323 registered voters cast ballots in the election.

All five precincts in the city approved the measures by large margins.

Voters in Precinct 2, 4 and 7 passed Measure 66 by about 80 percent and Measure 67 by about 79 percent.

Precinct 2 is the area west of Morton Street and south of East Main Street. Precinct 4 is located west of North Mountain Avenue and North of East Main Street. Precinct 7 surrounds Southern Oregon University, east of Morton Street and west of Hillview Drive.

In Precinct 10, the area encompassing the Southern Oregon University campus, voters passed Measure 66 by 91 percent and Measure 67 by 92 percent.

Voters in Precinct 13, which encompasses south Ashland, east of Hillview Drive, passed both measures by about 75 percent.

The Jackson County Clerk's Office is still waiting to count some ballots that have been held up due to signature problems and other issues, said Donna Connor, elections deputy.

The complete unofficial results will be available Monday afternoon, but it's unlikely they will differ significantly from the numbers released Wednesday, she said.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or

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