In a vote of 4-1, Kern County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Tuesday put forward by Sheriff Donny Youngblood that puts a sales tax hike for unincorporated Kern voters in November.
If approved by voters, the proposed tax increase would boost unincorporated Kern’s sales tax rate from 7.25 percent to 8.25 percent.
The county estimates $35 million dollars of new annual revenue if the tax is approved.
Sheriff Youngblood proposed the sales tax hike ballot measure after the city of Bakersfield voted to put a similar tax hike on its residents’ ballots.
Youngblood asserted if Bakersfield gets a windfall of new tax revenue to pump into the Bakersfield Police Department, BPD would hire deputies away from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
Gleason said he would support the tax knowing that the lions share of the revenue would go to the Sheriff’s department and public safety.
Supervisor David Couch, the only ‘no’ vote, called the tax proposal “regressive.”