TAFT, Calif. (KGET) — Early returns show voters in Taft are overwhelmingly in favor of a one-cent sales tax increase.

There were 546 people who voted on Measure A in Taft on Tuesday. Right now, the Kern County Elections Office is reporting 74-percent in favor of the measure and 26-percent against it. The measure was adopted by Taft’s city council in August and requires a simple majority to pass. The tax would generate an estimated $1.6 million dollars annually.

The results are final but not yet certified, according to the elections office.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Nov. 2 and has since been edited with updates.

City of Taft voting on one-cent sales tax

Nov. 2

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — People living in Taft will decide today whether to adopt a one-cent sales tax increase.

The proposal is on the ballot in a special election. The measure, Measure A, was adopted by Taft’s city council on August 3, and requires a simple majority to pass. The council cited rising costs of first responders and the economic downturn caused by COVID among the factors behind the proposal. According to the measure, the tax would generate an estimated $1.6 million annually for the city.

Kern County Clerk Mary Bedard confirmed ballots have been sent by mail to every eligible voter in Taft. 17 News spoke to a handful of Taft residents, and not one of them was aware of the election.

“I don’t know about it, I haven’t seen it on TV,” Taft local Sasha Rubio said. “And if my dad hasn’t told me about it — because he watches CSPAN constantly — then if I’m not knowing there’s an election, I’m like, ‘Wait, wait. What?'”

Taft City Clerk Yvette Mayfield said in a statement that “the City has set up many avenues to educate our citizens on the measure and inform voters of the local special election.” She pointed to social media outreach, presentations to local organizations and public service announcements.

Voters can submit their ballots by mail or cast their vote in person at the West Side Recreation and Park District at 500 Cascade Place in Taft. Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday, and close at 8 p.m.