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Letters to the editor: March 30

Letters to the editor: March 30

Which adult will join child leaders?

Are you aware of the “trial of the century”? Twenty-one youth plaintiffs are proceeding to trial to prove that the U.S. government has violated their fundamental rights to a climate system capable of sustaining human life and that we need a national science-based climate recovery plan (www.ourchildrenstrust.org). Our children are leading the way.

Smoky skies troubled us last summer, while reducing snowpack that will likely bring drought this summer. You have given your children a love of nature and appreciation for the beauty of our natural environment. But, how will our next state senator address the environmental challenges facing us?

While children are leading the way, we all need to be informed and support the best person to represent our district. Voting for an environmentally sensitive candidate is one way to support our children.

Seven candidates are running for Oregon Senate District 3. But which ones will protect our environment, and which ignore it while serving polluters?

SOCAN and 11 other local non-profits are presenting an All-Party Candidate Forum on Environmental Challenges, 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in the Medford library. Please bring your questions for the candidates present, and listen to their answers. Please be an informed citizen, and then vote.

Louise D Shawkat

Ashland

Marsh worked to improve fairness

On behalf of Oregon’s 241 cities, the League of Oregon Cities would like to acknowledge State Rep. Pam Marsh’s leadership on tax, economic development and telecommunications issues again during the 2018 legislative session.

Rep. Marsh worked hard to improve fairness, collection, and efficiency of state and local jurisdiction’s lodging taxes. This session, she sponsored HB 4120 and successfully led the way to its passage. Supported by a coalition of the League, the Association of Oregon Counties and the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, the bill was logical and fair.

HB 4120 updates intermediary definitions to ensure all short-term rental facilitators who collect money for an overnight stay also must collect applicable taxes, file the tax return and pay the tax to local governments. That’s what hotels are doing, and this bill levels the playing field. Many intermediaries have not been paying at all or have been short changing cities.

Together, we triumphed over opposition from industry giants, including Airbnb, Expedia, the Internet Association and TechNet Northwest, to make the system more efficient for all. Lodging tax revenues are a vital revenue source to communities and they ensure our tourism industry growth continues.

The League also wishes to acknowledge Rep. Marsh’s continued leadership on issues relating to telecommunications and broadband deployment. Her prior experience as a city councilor was demonstrated once again as she was instrumental in adding language to HB 4023, allowing cities to leverage, in certain circumstances, resources made available by the state’s chief information officer, making broadband technology available to underserved (usually rural) communities where industry has not already provided such service.

The League appreciates Rep. Marsh for being a strong partner in local government and advocating for job creation and economic growth, technology innovation, local control and revenue reform.

Mike Cully

Executive director, League of Oregon Cities

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