Supervisors discuss proposed $3 billion county budget

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Supervisors took the first step Wednesday in reviewing the proposed county budget for the next fiscal year.

Over the next few months, county leaders and members of public will have a chance to review the proposed $3 billion 2020-2021 proposed budget.

County staff anticipates key revenue sources like hotel and sales taxes will be down this year. Additionally, Kern County is last in property tax growth state-wide, according to Kern County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop.

The lack of revenue, per Alsop, will lead to a revenue shortfall of $56.5 million in funds to operate the county government.

“That is a significant foundational economic challenge for our county,” he said, adding most county departments will see a 7.5 percent cut from the general fund.

“That is the most significant reduction to county departments in general fund contributions since I’ve been here.”

5th District Supervisor and Board Chair Leticia Perez weighed in about where the county goes from here.

“Our libraries, our critical services, all of the things that make us a county and give us a life are going to be diminished in this process,” she said. “It is our reality. We have to accept it and be as gracious, forthcoming, and think about the county as a whole,” Perez continued.

For now, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office will be spared from cuts. Anyone wishing to express views on the budget can do so at official hearings on August 3 and 4. An official vote will not take place until late August.

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