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Study finds oil and gas industry contributed more than $197 million in property tax revenues in Kern County last year

Plunging Energy Prices Put Strain On Texas Economy
Posted at 10:19 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 13:19:28-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A recently released study found that the oil industry, one of Kern County's leading industries, contributed more than $197 million last year in property tax revenues — crucial funds used to support government services.

The study was conducted by an economic consultant from Yorba Linda-based The Natelson Dale Group, Inc. at the request of the Kern County Board of Supervisors.

The 100-page study showed the oil and gas industry contributed more than $197 million to the property tax base in Kern County during the fiscal year 2018-2019, including property tax revenue, property tax in-lieu of vehicle license fees, and bond tax revenue.

“The evidence is clear, a healthy oil industry results in a fiscally secure Kern County. For years, this industry has played a very critical role in the growth and progression of our County” said Leticia Perez, Chairman of the Kern County Board of Supervisors. “This study demonstrates the industry’s integral contribution to funding vital governmental services, programs and even our schools in Kern. We need oil and gas operations to continue in our county – especially at a time when our county budgets are hurting, and the community is continuing to struggle with the impacts of COVID-19.”

County officials said current budget forecasts anticipate a 40% reduction in oil-related assessed valuation between January 2020 and January 2021. These are funds that cannot be replaced by commercial-scale solar or new wind projects, as suggested by some anti-oil groups.

The study also examined the impact of an incremental reduction of oil and gas assessed valuation – amounting to a 23% reduction in total property tax revenue, and more than seven percent reduction in revenue from all sources – posing a significant financial impact to the county, cities, special districts, local colleges and school districts, according to the study.