Both Kern County and Bakersfield voters rejected two 1 percent sales tax measures on the ballot, county voters decisively so.

With all precincts reporting in, 52 percent of voters opposed the city sales tax, Measure N, and 48 were in favor.

On the county's side, 67 percent of residents voted against Measure I compared to 33 percent that voted in favor.

"We’re between a rock and a hard spot, but we’ll do the best we can," said Sheriff Donny Youngblood, who first proposed the county sales tax to the Board of Supervisors. "We’ll go to work tomorrow, we’ll roll our sleeves up, and we’ll try to figure out how we’re going to deal with this over the next several months."

The two sales tax measures, which would have raised both taxes from 7.25 percent to 8.25 percent, were sold to voters as cures for the ills facing both the city of Bakersfield and Kern County.

With Measure N, city officials said they could hire 100 additional police officers to reduce response times and provide additional services for the citizens of the city.

Measure I came as a response to Measure N. Youngblood proposed the sales tax increase by saying he worried that the deputies from the Sheriff’s Office would leave for the higher salaries of BPD if the city went on a hiring spree.

He said the county needed the sales tax revenue to help alleviate the department's shortage of deputies, a longstanding problem that has contributed to low morale.

City officials have said that city services have been reduced over the years, and will continue to shrink without additional revenue from the sales tax.

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415 or You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

(11) comments


I'm just glad they didn't get it! Why would I pay for the biggest gang in Bakersfield & Kern County more money to hire more jerks that let the power go to their head to bully me. Then who will protect me from them! Its bad enough that it take 3 to 4 car to handle 1 traffic stop on the east side of Bakersfield.


Sharpen your pencils and start cutting, Supervisors/Council Members.

Almost nobody working in the private sector gets a pension anymore. Show us voters that the City/County are serious about MASSIVE pension reform, and we might be willing to discuss giving them a tax increase to get us out of the hole that 30 years of bad governance and sweetheart union deals have dug.


I totally agree with u. They need to be honest and upfront about the pension problem rather than to hide behind public safety to milk the taxpayer. I would have voted "Yes" if they were honest about the sales tax increase proposal from the very beginning.


This outcome was a no-brainier. This outcome is clear evidence that our civic leaders including paid administrative staff do not have their fingers on the public pulse. We don't want to be lied to about a measure that by intent was earmarked already to pay for lofty pensions that we the public don't get.


Well, you sound like a liberal, so you better man/woman up, buy a gun, and protect your family, because law enforcement isn’t coming to save you. Nor with your response, should they want to.


I think you misunderstand Richard. Liberals fix everything with tax increases. The citizens of this city and county love our law enforcement men and women. It is very apparent to every working stiff out here in the private sector that the retirement packages promised to firemen, policemen, and sheriff are unsustainable. We in the private sector defer income in IRAs or 401ks usually invested in the stock market, bonds or money markets. These investments are exposed to market risk. Their value goes up and down. Pensions (not a payroll deferment) are a promise made with no regard to market risk, and that my friend is not reality. I personally think adjustments must be made to retiree payouts to keep the moneys in these pensions solvent. When you can retire at 50 and get 80-90% of pay especially when you stack hours at the end of your career I think you can probably find some way to make up a reasonable adjustment just like the rest of us do. That is not a liberal progressive thing to do, it is a reasonable thing to do.
God bless.


Mr.Smith you may want to get your head out of the sand box. Retirement deals aren’t what they once were. Public Safety employees don’t get to retire at 50 anymore, it’s 55 now@2.5 %. So if you work 30 years you could earn %75 at 55 years old. Also every cop or ff out there pays into their retirement 14% of every paycheck, for mid range employees that a minimum of $1000 a month. I’m pretty sure your 401k would look pretty sweet if you put $1000 a month for 30+ years with compounded interest etc. , not to mention if your employer in the private sector is matching that in any way. Talk to the Moneywise guys about investment stuff, they’ll help you out if you’re a little down trodden. And stacking hours at the end of your career is long gone too. Local government employees are some of the lowest paid in the state and what keeps the loyal ones around is the promise of a pension, not the pay. Union this Unions that is a weary tune and a cop out excuse that has grown tired on our ears. You’d be surprised to know probably 90% of people in your local public safety unions are conservative and tax payers also. In fact our Overtime is taxed at a rate of 45% so I’d wager to say we pay ALOT more taxes than the average person. It’s a vicious circle we are all a part of. When the economy is doing well and wages are up in the private sector like right now that is great for the private sector! Local government public safety employees haven’t had a raise in 10 years. So before you spew out venom on our faces just know we are taxpayers too and you can take that to the bank. We just want to be left alone and not be the scapegoat of all the ailments of government.


All I see here is jealousy. Remember when you were a kid and people told you that you could do or be anything you wanted? Well they meant it. You could have chosen a career with a pension, but obviously you didn’t. Now that it is probably too late for you to switch careers, you post on here complaining about it. I wonder whose fault that is....hmmmmm

Boogerface Nutter

Most big businesses nowadays offer their people a 401k with some matching. Time for the fire/police departments to come to the real world. Taxpayers funding the incredible pensions is not going to work.


That's a foolish comment. Liberals are the ones who desire to raise taxes. We the Tax Payer have accept it. The CalPers retirement packages will have to be adjusted substantially for current employees and retirees........its basic math that will eventually drive this adjustment.

Boogerface Nutter

Save you? It took 12 "law enforcement" officers to beat a special needs man to death near KMC a couple years ago....who saved him?

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