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Bakersfield Faces Budget Crunch As Sales Tax Revenue Drops

Joe Moore
Valley Public Radio
Bakersfield City Hall

The City of Bakersfield is searching for ways to tighten its fiscal belt thanks in part to lower oil prices. Over the past twelve months, city sales tax revenue has been nearly 5 percent below budget expectations. That’s left the city council considering mid-year budget adjustments, seeking to trim $1.4 million  from this year’s books.

In a report presented to the city council on Wednesday, city manager Alan Tandy outlined a possible slate of cuts. They could include a reduction in spending on capital projects like the Sport Village, the deferral of a retiree healthcare trust payment, and cancelling a planned cost of living adjustment for all labor groups.

Tandy says that while the city’s budget isn’t directly tied to the decline in oil production, as employees in that industry are laid off, sales and use tax revenue drops. If the fiscal situation doesn’t improve, Tandy says more cuts could be in the works when next year’s budget is assembled in May.

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.