DA editorial (copy)

In this file photo, Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez speaks during a Board of Supervisors meeting.

The Kern County Board of Supervisors will soon consider placing a sales tax increase before voters.

Supervisor Leticia Perez says she has asked the County Administrative Office to bring the matter before supervisors in the next month. If Perez’s colleagues follow her lead, Kern County voters could be making a choice on potentially raising their taxes as early as November.

“I know there are public safety groups that are interested in bringing new revenue into the county, because many of them have been convinced of our financial situation, that we really do have a revenue problem,” Perez said. “When you go into making pension obligations that are decades in consequence, you have to think about repeated revenue, you can’t just make emotional decisions about money when you have a limited pot.”

Details on how much the proposed sales tax increase would be haven't been worked out, Perez added, along with exactly how the county would divide the new funds. The CAO's Office is not drafting a proposal. It is merely adding the item to a future agenda for discussion.

Yet Perez expressed enthusiasm for the possibility.

“We have to have a new revenue stream just like the city has,” Perez said. “And I want to ask my colleagues to consider that. I’m very impressed with the city. I can’t believe what they’re doing. It’s amazing, and now I’m jealous.”

The city of Bakersfield placed a 1 percent sales tax increase on the November 2018 ballot, which voters approved by a narrow 97-vote margin. With the new funds, the city has instituted a litany of programs, including the hiring of 100 additional police officers and the purchase of a homeless shelter on Brundage Lane.

Kern County had its own sales increase proposal on the same ballot, which voters overwhelmingly rejected, with nearly 65 percent voting against.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood brought forward the initial proposal, saying his department needed the increase in funds in order to prevent a staffing crisis.

Although supervisors have approved pay raises for entry-level sheriff's deputies to make them the highest paid in the Central Valley, many employees unions are putting pressure on the board for raises of their own. The unions claim the cost of living has increased over the last decade without corresponding increases in their pay, bringing down their overall salaries.

“We feel hopeful because we want to give (cost of living allowance) increases,” Perez said. “We want to take care of our workforce. I believe that about my colleagues.”

The process for placing the tax increase on the ballot could take many meetings, she said, adding public input would be welcome.

Sam Morgen can be reached at 661-395-7415. Follow him on Twitter: @smorgenTBC.

(17) comments

Lamonster

If passed will this new county tax also apply to the cities that are already paying a higher tax?

clsoca

I thought this was already voted on.

Fightingsideofme

No more tax increases !

yorkies2014

I just not really into a well-funded Republican military-industrial police-state....

Boris25

Dude, you live in California. If you want to rail against the "government" , look to the Democrats they control the State. While you may not like the sales tax in Kern County, look at your State Income Tax either first or second most in the nation and that was set by the Democrats.

Flee_sr

There is no need for another tax. The elected bobbleheads need to listen to their constituents and start allocating funds where the people of Kern County want them. The people are tired of crime, homelessness, and taxes.

Donny asked for a public safety tax and it failed because people are tired of being taxed. Not to mention several supervisors did not openly support him and his request because it was not politically acceptable to their parties.

So, do not expect Gleason, Couch, Maggerd or Scrivner to support Perez this time either. If they do support a tax increase, it will certainly equate to a supervisor turnover...which could be a good thing for the people of Kern.

Solution: We need a ballot initiative to prioritize public safety. The initiative would require the BOS to prioritize public safety funding and make public safety a priority. Something that the people of Kern need and want. This initiative could force the BOS fund all public safety agencies.

It would make the BOS live within their means and work for the people who elected them. This funding could deal with crime, homelessness, and some of the retention problems facing the county.

Lastly, if the BOS want more revenue they need to stand up for our oil and ag companies. If not, Kern will not need a homeless shelter because there will be plenty of vacant homes for the homeless to stay.

Veritas

I get the no additional sales tax like the city duped the masses into voting in. What I don’t get is your “Solution”. A ballot initiative that “...would require the BOS to prioritize public safety funding and make public safety a priority.”? They approve a budget for the county every year and Sheriff and Fire are the top 2 in the amount of funding they get. I am confused as to how you get higher in priority than the top two? So where is the extra funding that you allude to going to come from? Even if the state leaves the oil businesses alone they are not going to get any more from them than they already do, that would have to come from an increase in market price per barrel. Just curious.

Take action Now

This article talks about the vote counts on the last election, well there is something very strange on how the city sales tax passed. I wrote down the totals every time the media posted the counts and each time, the sales tax proposal was failing by 1 to 2%. But on the very last posted count, a difference of about 434 total votes, compared to the last posted count 62% voted yes and 38% no. How can the last 434 voters cast a vote so different from the previous 91,000 voters. I have the vote counts posted on Nov 4, Nov, 18 and Dec 4. I think something very “ strange” took place during that 2 week period. As the saying goes, “ if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it’s a duck!!!

REMUDA

What . . . ? "Quack, quack" . . . ! "Vote Harvesting" . . . ? In an agricultural community . . ?

All Star

You believe what you see/read from our local media? That's your first mistake.

alexkelley

Kern County & Bakersfield: you are lost! You are accepting & capitulating to the liberal political solution to ALL ISSUES: “TAX, SPEND & TAX SOME MORE, UNTIL IT’S ALL GONE, THEN ATARY TAKING IT AWAY!” Controlling spending, proper management & doing w/o USED to be how spending was handled. No more! Just ‘take what we want, get what we want’ is the new (actually old) way of attaining government goals. Shame on the lazy citizens of this county as well as it greedy, money-grubbing, voracious leaders! You will all come to regret allowing local government this much financial power. It will NEVER STOP!

REMUDA

"The unions claim the cost of living has increased over the last decade without corresponding increases in their pay, bringing down their overall salaries."

Listen up, 'Ladies' . . .Why the "cost of living" . . . ???! Has anyone figured out the REAL PROBLEM . . . ?! Where's the budget analysis that focuses on the facts (CA OIL . . . CA OIL . . . CA OIL . . . !!!) that might all be solved with a . . . RECALL NEWSOM BALLOT MEASURE . . . ! & too many 'cooks' in that burgeoning "MED*POT" stew . . . (still illegal Fed)

Oh yeah . . . and let's not forget PG&E . . . and some other "COLA EFFECTS" . . . ! Zackl? David? Mick? Mike? (forget Leticia . . . she still has her 'alternate resources' on probation . . . ask Lisa! )

scottybob

I support Youngblood and all law enforcement needs. But not the homeless unless all the supervisors bring families of the poor into their own homes and personally pay for all their needs. There are too many "feel good" drains on our taxes. Only the handicapped deserve my forced support (read taxes) to live. Every tax dollar I am forced to pay, deducts from the amount I can donate to those I support (last year almost 19 percent of my total income).

yorkies2014

you want what?.....I'll pay more if everyone pays more.....or lets just get the Republicans to get the rich to pay their fair share,,,the corporate framers the mega influential "energy" producers and that Amazon dude..Walmart..."Amazon paid a tax rate of just 1.2% last year, versus 14% for average Americans"........I mean really...and cr ap.....pretty sure coveting the city is a no no

Gene Pool Chlorinator

OK Boomer...

Mrknowitall

I’m thrilled to see another tax proposal. Bakersfield City got theirs. Now “Cannabis” Perez is jealous and wants more. Lol. So silly. Look at the Board. Other than Couch... who would trust these morons with even running a lemonade stand? Yet they run your County. So dumb. They go home after the meetings... county staff tells them how to vote “recommends” ha! They blindly follow. Get their $200k annual salary, go to posh digs, est a grand meal, burn and marvel that folks actually respect them and count on them! They cannot believe it. Pinch themselves and chuckle. Bako—-congrats. Keep getting suckered. You loooooooove it. And I love seeing it. Lil

Boris25

Get your facts straight, Amazon is owned by a Democrat. If he felt he wasn't paying "his fair share" nothing stops him from writing a check to ease his mind. The same is true about all Democrats, write a check, but none of them do.

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