Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland (LAMA) is a collective of regional artists and craftspeople from Southern Oregon and Northern California exhibiting and selling their own work.
Ashland has found itself as desirable reputation as a extraordinary place to retire. Encircled on the west and south by the mountains and US Forest Service lands, Ashland has experience controlled, well managed growth. This has allowed the town to retain the charm of striking Victorian houses, bungalows and Craftsman homes on tree shaded streets. The town also has a flourishing downtown core area with verdant Lithia Park as its showpiece. The 100 acre park is easily one of the most beautiful city parks in the United States. A temperate, year round climate and a slower pace of life into the mix, and Ashlandís overall livability is further enhanced.
Culture and climate blend for livability in Oregonís Rogue River Valley. It is the theater that brings many visitors to Ashland, a small town of 22,000 set below the Siskiyou Mountains in southwest Oregon. Its Oregon Shakespeare Festival was cited in 2003 by Time magazine as one of the best of Americas regional theaters- further evidence that theatre loving Ashland has achieved a national reputation with its festival.
For those who enjoy large cities, San Francisco and Portland are within reach by car or plane. People who choose to give up big city pleasures for natural pursuits find Ashland an outdoor paradise. Residents can enjoy nearby hiking trails, fishing in lakes and rivers, paddling on the Rogue and Klamath Rivers, and cycling or walking on city bikeways or along the Bear Creek trail linking Ashland to the nearby town of Talent. Come winter, thereís cross country skiing alpine skiing and snowshoeing on Mount Ashland, 15 minutes from the snow free heart of town.
Ashland is the home to Southern Oregon University which keeps the town on its toes. If residents want to get away from Ashland for a few days, itís easy because itís a 5 hour drive from Californiaís wine country.
Ashlandís location is ideal for the clean air, low key feel, and sense of community.
Nestled in southwest Oregonís Rogue River Valley at an elevation of 2000 feet above sea level, Ashland is just off interstate 5. The California border is 15 miles to the south, San Francisco is 365 miles to the south and Portland is 290 miles north of Ashland on 1-5.
Ashland does not have a general sales tax but has a 5% tax on restaurant and take out meals. Only food, not alcohol is taxed.
For single filers, it ranges from 5% of taxable income up to $2650 to $413 plus 9% of the excess over $6650. For married couples filing jointly, it ranges from 5% taxable income up to $5300 to $825 plus 9% of the excess over $13,300.
Social Security benefits are exempt, as is all federal pension income based on service performed before Oct 1, 1991. For federal pension income based on service before and after Oct 1, 1991, the pension subtraction is prorated Federal pensions for service after Oct 1, 1991, and state and private pensions are not exempt.
Applicable to estates of $1 million or more. For estates exceeding $1 million, an Oregon inheritance return must be filed.
The property tax rate in Ashland ranges from $9.07 to $14.51 per $1000 of assessed value, depending on which fire and school district the property is located. Taxes are applied on approximately 67% of real market value on new construction, making taxes on a new $412,000 house about $2504 to $4005. The property tax rate in Jackson County is $9.97 to $17.27 per $1000 of assessed value, depending on location.
The homestead deferral program exempts from property taxes those 62 and older or disabled who meet certain income requirements. There is a 6 percent interest on the deferred amount, payable at death or upon selling the home.
There are 36 churches in Ashland representing almost the same number of denominations.
Ashland is home to Southern Oregon University, http://www.sou.edu. The 175 acre campus is minutes from downtown Ashland and serves 5500 students with 4 year degree programs in 100 areas of study. There are 35 majors in the arts and letters, social sciences and business departments. The student to professor ration is 19 to 1. Southern Oregon offers three seniors specific programs. Senior Ventures are for people over 50 and include field trips in Oregon, Texas, Canada and Washington SOLIR (Southern Oregon Learning in Retirement) offers short term educational experiences on the SOU campus. The universityís Elderhostel program is one of the largest in the United States. Offering a wide variety of technical and traditional courses, Rogue Community College, http://www.roguecc.edu, has 3 campuses in Jackson County.
Founded in 1906, the 49 bed Ashland Community Hospital (541-482-2441) or http://www.ashlandhospital.org, offers 24 hour emergency service, same day surgery and ICU unit, hospice room, CT scanning, ultrasound, gastroenterology, mammography, bone density testing, MRI imaging, echocardiography, physical therapy and sports medicine, among other services. Five orthopedists and three retinologists are on staff. The hospital opened 10 new private rooms in 2004 and is in the process of expanding their surgery department. In nearby Medford the 168 bed Providence Medical Center 541-732-5000, has a cancer care facility. The largest of Jackson Countyís hospitals is the 305 bed Rogue Valley Medical Center, http://www.asante.org, in Medford. The hospital offers home care, a hospice program and the Dubs Cancer Center (800-944-7073).