2023-2025 Biennium Budget
The City of Ashland is located halfway between Portland and San Francisco about 15 miles from the Northern California border. Founded in 1852, Ashland, originally called "Ashland Mills", was named after Ashland County, Ohio, the original home of founder Abel Helman, and secondarily for Ashland, Kentucky, where other founders had family connections. The City currently occupies a land area of 6.64 square miles and serves a resident population of approximately 21,360.
The City of Ashland has a Council/Manager form of government. The seven -member Council consists of a Mayor and six Councilors. In the governance of the City, the Council is charged with the responsibility of establishing policies and enacting ordinances and resolutions. The City Manager is appointed by the Council and is charged with the responsibility of administering daily operations and implementing Council directives.
The City provides a full range of services including the following: police and fire protection, emergency response and rescue services; water and sewer services; maintenance of streets and infrastructure; parks and recreational activities, Ashland Fiber Network, electric services and general administration. All moneys required to support these services are reflected in this budget.
Founded - 1852
Date of City Charter - 1874
Form of Government - Council-City Manager
City Employees - 231 as of April 2023
* Includes Part-time employees
City Finances - Bond Rating
Moody’s Investors Services - A1
Land Area - 6.64 square miles
Paved Lane Miles - 198.13
2022 U.S. Census - 21,360
Population per square mile - 3,218.8
Race and Ethnicity
White - 89.3%
Hispanic or Latino - 9.9%
Two or More Races - 6.2%
Asian - 2.0%
Housing Units - 10,966
Homeownership rate - 55.9%
Average Household Size - 2.05
Medium value of owner-occupied housing units - $494,700
95.7% of residents age 25+ have graduated high school
63.2% of residents age 25+ have a bachelor's degree of higher
*Photo by Chris Constantine
19 local parks
53 + miles of trails
5 rivers, 10 lakes
15,000 acre Ashland Watershed
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Mt Ashland Ski Resort
Plus golf course, galleries, museums, festivals and more
Median Household Income - $63,641
Per Capita Monday Income - $43,985
Unemployment 3.7% (not seasonally adjusted)
Number of businesses - 2241 (number of business licenses registered in 2021)
Over the past 10 years, there has been significant private sector investment and improvements in the many millions of dollars into buildings and businesses that were expanded and with new or newly purchased and relocated businesses creating economic growth. This growth is reflected in new jobs, wage growth and increased prosperity.
- The number of firms increased by #127 from #1,177 to #1,204
- Employment increased by #1,459 from #9,371 to #10,830
- Total payroll increased from $291,311,491 to $401,759,909
- Average wages increased from $31,086 to $37,097
- Ashland Hills Hotel, slated as a tear-down, was purchased and completely renovated offering individual and group travel successfully operating with bookings beyond 2021
- The restaurant industry expanded with major renovations of existing facilities and the development of new cutting-edge offerings. Many of the chefs receiving state and national awards and recognition
- Retail expansion and growth of local business with one local owner expanding into four unique locations downtown (Paddington Family of Stores) along with other specialty retail expansions in the downtown and future growth plans outside the downtown core
- The Ashland Railroad District has grown and expanded its business offerings catering to not only a local but visitor clientele
- Significant expansion of manufacturing with the growth of Darex Inc. and BioSkin
- Sustainable businesses expanded with True South Solar and the relocation of Wholesale Solar to Ashland just to name a few
- Technology firms increased their expansion and world-wide reach
- Craft brewing industry expansion with the growth of Caldera Brewing Company
- Wine industry has expanded dramatically in the last ten years with more vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms but also with world-class award-winning wines
Source: Oregon Employment Department
Tourism is a key driver to Oregon’s economy. It is a $12.3 billion industry that directly generates more than 115,400 jobs in Oregon with secondary impacts that create another 56,960 jobs. An estimated 29.1 million overnight visitors traveled to Oregon destinations in 2018. Southern Oregon surpassed the $1.1 billion revenue mark in 2018 within the five county region fueling over 12,300 tourism related jobs.
In Ashland, thousands of tourism jobs generate millions of dollars a year in lodging and food and beverage taxes not to mention the support of hundreds of businesses. The reason visitors visit Ashland is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, outdoor activities and culinary experiences, just to name a few. Many tourists come to Ashland for the fist time to experience the emerging wine industry and then discovering the array of cultural amenities that Ashland has been most known for.
Founded in 1935, the world-class, Tony award-wining Oregon Shakespeare Festival, fosters a creative culture and an arts and entertainment industry and thriving restaurant and lodging industries. Cultural and culinary amenities abound with primarily independently-owned businesses. Over 100 restaurants, micro-breweries, wineries, numerous galleries, music and theatre, and specialty shops feature home décor, cookware, books, specialty clothing boutiques jewelry, pottery fiber arts and more adding numerous reasons for visitors to come to Ashland expanding our base.
Source: Ashland Chamber of Commerce https://www.ashlandchamber.com