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Government & Politics

As Bakersfield Faces Budget Shortfall, City Council Looks At Possible Tax Increase

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While the stock market is up, many cities in the valley are still struggling. Bakersfield perhaps faces the biggest cash crunch, as rising costs tied to health care and retirement expenses have coincided with a countywide economy that is struggling due to a decline in activity in the oil industry. One city projection indicates the city could face a $5 million deficit next year, growing to around $15 million in five years. Now the city council is considering what to do about the shortfall, and that could include a tax increase. The council recently approved a survey of local residents to judge their support for a potential tax. Councilmember and vice mayor Bob Smith joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the causes to the current financial shortfall, and possible solutions.