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County sees uphill road to 1-cent sales tax increase

For all their research and charts demonstrating the urgency of the situation, county staff recognize a limit to how welcoming voters in unincorporated Kern might be to the idea of raising their sales tax by 1 percentage point specifically to improve local public services.

They recall the last time a similar proposal came up, in 2018, and how it failed by a vote of 65 percent against to 35 percent in favor, despite a warning from Sheriff Donny Youngblood that without the tax increase, his already understaffed department might have to close substations in the outlying reaches of the county.