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The city will not be asking voters to approve a 5% tax on prepared food and beverages.

TERESA JACKSON/MADRAS PIONEER - Louise Muir, Mayor Richard Ladeby, and City Councilor Bartt Brick listen to public testimony during a hearing of the Madras Transportation Advisory Committee on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The committee recommended that the City Council put a 5% sales tax on prepared food and beverages on the May ballot. The City Council approved but is removing the measure due to the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus.A ballot measure that was going to be proposed to voters in May requesting a 5% tax on prepared food and beverages served within Madras city limits to fund road repairs has been withdrawn from the ballot. City Administrator Gus Burril and staff made the decision to pull the proposed tax measure due to the economic climate created by the novel coronavirus. The City Council will vote to ratify the decision to withdraw at its March 24 meeting.

"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," stated City Administrator Gus Burril.

Jefferson County's deadline to withdraw the measure was March 19, prior to the council's March 24 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," said Mayor Richard Ladeby.

The city plans to revisit the idea once the economy is in a stronger position.


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