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Madras withdraws prepared food tax from May ballot

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5% tax proposal was to fund road repairs; city will revisit idea later

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A measure that was going to go to Madras voters in May, proposing a 5% tax on prepared food and beverages to fund road repairs, has been withdrawn from the ballot, the city announced Thursday.

City Administrator Gus Burril said he and city staff made the decision to pull the proposed Prepared Food & Beverage tax measure due to the economic climate created by the coronavirus.

The Madras City Council is scheduled to vote to ratify the decision to withdraw the measure at its meeting next Tuesdasy.

“In light of the deep financial impact COVID-19 restrictions are having on the restaurant establishments, we’ve made the decision to withdraw the measure  from the May election and revisit the idea when the economy is in a stronger position,” Burril said.

Jefferson County’s deadline to withdraw the measure was Thursday, before the council's next scheduled meeting. Therefore, the decision was made to withdraw the measure and have it ratified at the meeting.

“Even though the measure would not go into effect until April 2021, we need to give our local businesses time to recuperate from this situation,” stated Mayor Richard Ladeby.

City officials said they plan to revisit the idea once the economy is in a stronger position.

The city of Bend withdrew its proposed $190 million transportation bond measure from the May ballot, for much the same COVID-19-related reasons.

Central Oregon / Coronavirus / Government-politics / News / Top Stories

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