BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield City Council unanimously approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21, totaling $630,298,000, as a crowd of residents rallied outside calling to defund the police.
The budget is comprised of the operating budget, including transfers, totaling $543,163,996, and the capital improvement budget totaling $87,134,004. The proposed budget reflects the funding of the City’s operating cost, including $69,620,000 in Bakersfield Public Safety and Vital Services Measure appropriation, $119.9 million of which will go to the Bakersfield Police Department.
The new budget also allocated funding for the addition of 44 new positions to the department.
The city said this budget anticipates reductions in sales and use taxes, transient occupancy taxes, gas tax and development related activity. Due to the nature and timing of the COVID-19 pandemic, City staff worked to readjust the budget based on the new fiscal reality within a very short time period. This budget reflects significant adjustments to major revenue sources in anticipation of reduced economic activity in the next fiscal year.
The budget also includes 13 sworn fire positions in direct response to the City Council priorities of enhancing public safety services. Additional positions included in the budget provide for the expansion of the successful rapid response teams in the Code Enforcement Division and the Recreation and Parks Department. The budget also includes four positions to establish a new Economic and Community Development Department.
The budget also includes over $16.7 million in budget contingencies, with $9.5 million of PSVS funding directed to reserves and contingencies, along with $7.2 million in contingent PSVS capital projects. These projects will only move forward if revenues are meeting projections during the mid-year budget review.