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Food Service and Drinking Places

2015FoodServDrinkPlaces2017

 


Food Service and Drinking Places in Ashland

Ashland is home to a number of restaurants and bars featuring unique cuisine, creative cocktails, extensive wine options and locally crafted beers. This industry represents over 1,500 employees in a town with a population of just over 21,000. Ashland has a 5% meals tax, the Food and Beverage tax, where the funds go to the purchase of open space parkland and to offset the costs of a city waste-water treatment plant. This tax is on prepared food and beverage but excludes alcohol purchases. 

Over the past twenty years, the Food and Beverage Tax has cumulatively collected nearly $35 million. Tax receipts were 15% higher than the lodging tax receipts, and totaled $2.3 million ($117 per capita) in the 2013. Since 1995, the first full fiscal year in which they were collected, Food and Beverage Tax receipts have more than doubled (up 113%), or increased by 50% in inflation-adjusted dollars. 

Growth in Food and Beverage Tax receipts mirrors the growth in sales of prepared food and beverages in Ashland over a time frame in which the Cityís population grew by 13%.  While Ashland residents may have been spending more on prepared food, it is more likely that much of the increase relates to increased consumption of locally-prepared food by out-of-towners. This likelihood is consistent with the decisive increase in lodging tax receipts, which were up 188% (124% in inflation-adjusted terms) since 1995.

 

Business Perspectives

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