BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County Board of Supervisors has voted to place a one-cent sales tax increase proposal on ballots in November.
Only voters in unincorporated parts of the county will vote on this measure.
This news comes after hours of presentations, at the Board of Supervisors meeting. 4th District Supervisor David Couch was the only one to vote against the measure.
“Nobody wants to put this even on the ballot because we don’t want people to have to pay more,” 4th District Supervisor David Couch said. “I think we’ll see the impacts of that within a couple of years within two to three years. Certainly within five years.”
Couch argued the tax shouldn’t be indefinite and recommended for 20 sunset but this idea wasn’t supported.
Kern County has the fifth largest unincorporated population in state. More than 305,000 people unincorporated areas throughout Kern. The tax will go from 7.25% to 8.25%, the same as cities.
It won’t be applied to sales in cities, only in parts of the county that aren’t within any city limits.
“We’re really headed for a train wreck unless we do something as a county to deal with it,” Ryan Alsop the Chief Administrative Officer of Kern County said.
The county estimates at least $55 million every year in additional income from this tax and it’s expected get even bigger.
The new revenue is expected to be used for vital services like law enforcement, emergency medical response and general government use.
“Sales tax is not applied to groceries. Groceries and food are exempt. Candy, snack food, bottle waters, sales tax is not applied to those,” Alsop said. “Sales tax is not applied to pet food, seeds, plant food, fertilizer and a host of other things.”
Voters from unincorporated areas in Kern County will see this new sales tax question on their November ballot and it’ll need a simple majority vote to get accepted.