Bakersfield Faces Budget Crunch As Sales Tax Revenue Drops
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.