There are two different sales tax measures on November's ballot are Measure "I" and Measure "N". Both would increase sales tax by one percent, Measure "N" is for the City of Bakersfield while Measure "I" is for unincorporated Kern County.
Right now sales tax in Bakersfield and Kern County is 7.25%. If the City of Bakersfield or the unincorporated county approved their measure, the sales tax would rise to 8.25%, where approved.
To give you an idea of how much more you would pay if a one percent sales tax is approved, it can be broken down like this: If you spend say $30,000 a year, you would pay an extra $300 dollars a year because of the increased tax, which comes out to $25 dollars a month.
First for Measure "I", it's a one percent sales tax for unincorporated Kern County. Kern County County Council Mark Nations said if the measure passes, "The tax is only imposed on sales in the unincorporated area and the revenue may only be uses in the unincorporated area."
Nations says about 60% of the addition revenue would go toward public safety. And the additional sales tax would help Kern County, which he says is currently in debt about $20 million dollars.
"If it were not to pass, then we would be pretty much status quo with our budget and trying to resolve the budget the fiscal crisis we find ourselves in," said Nations.
On the city side, Bakersfield city manager, Alan Tandy, said, if Measure "N"'s 1% sales tax is approved, it could bring an extra $50 million dollars to the city. He said an increase in police and fire calls has put greater demand on the two departments. And the city would use the extra money from the sales tax to add 25% more jobs at the police department, increase the fire department staff as well as increase homelessness funding.
Tandy added, "And would give us years worth of capability to enhance those services.
And if Measure "N" doesn't pass, Tandy said, "We would do cutbacks for two years and perhaps put it back on the ballot. But that would be the subject of a future city council discussion."
For more information about the one percent sale tax increase measures and how you can track their spending you can visit the city's website: