Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the City of Tehachapi Local Control/ Essential Services Measure?

A: On July 18, 2022, the Tehachapi City Council unanimously placed the City of Tehachapi Local Control/ Essential Services Measure on the November 8, 2022, General Election ballot. If approved by local voters in November, the measure would enact a 1- cent local sales tax until ended by voters, allowing the city to address critical local service needs with funding that cannot be taken by the Federal, State or County governments.

Q: Why was the City of Tehachapi Local Control/ Essential Services Measure placed on the ballot?

A: Tehachapi has lost about $6.5 million from Sacramento actions over the past few years, with over $2 million in the last year alone, and the regional oil economy is being threatened by the State. Because of these actions, and the increase in price for basic safety services, the city is operating at a deficit. 

Q: Will other local sales tax measures impact the sales tax rate in the City of Tehachapi?

A: No. While the County of Kern is pursuing a similar measure, it applies to unincorporated communities only (for example, Old Towne, Stallion Springs, Bear Valley Springs), but not the City of Tehachapi. Even if both measures are approved by voters, the City of Tehachapi's sales tax rate would be just 8.25%.

Q: Will the City of Tehachapi Local Control/ Essential Services Measure impact local services?

A: Yes. Without additional funds, the City will be forced to make additional cuts to local budgets. Because of past budget cuts, programs and services that could otherwise help us recover from the current crisis as well as fund basic services such as emergency response, public safety, and much needed street repairs, will be impacted by further cuts.

Q: How have Sacramento takeaways and County contracts impact our local services?

A: Without an additional source of local funds, the City will be forced to make cuts to programs and services that could otherwise help us recover from the current unfunded mandates imposed by the State of California, as well as fund basic services such as emergency response, public safety, and much needed street repairs. With a 200% increase in fire protection costs from the County of Kern, the City will be forced to make cuts to other essential services to address fire protection. 

Q: Can Sacramento take these funds?

A: No. A sales tax measure applied in the City of Tehachapi cannot be taken by Sacramento. The ballot language is clear on that provision as all funds are to be kept local. 

Q: Are there emergency response needs that may get worse?

A: Yes, When you have an emergency, seconds count, and we much ensure that Tehachapi has the needed resources to maintain and improve fire and medical response times to all neighborhoods of our city. The City of Tehachapi's 911 dispatch received over two thousand calls last year, including for medical emergencies, and given the impacts of State takeaways, COVID, and rising County costs, an additional local source of funds must be secured to maintain the services we currently have. 

Q: What services could the measure help address?

A: The measure can help the city of Tehachapi maintain essential general city services residents have indicated are important, such as fire protection, helping prevent crime, protecting drinking water, preparing for and responding to natural disasters, maintaining local 911 emergency response, and maintaining infrastructure among other items. 

Q: What type of accountability will be in place to ensure additional funds are spent on the community priorities?

A: The City of Tehachapi operates an open and transparent budget process annually. Along with the budget adoption, a separate allocation budget of the additional funds produced by this measure will be clearly labeled in the preliminary and adopted budgets. This will allow community members to review and make suggestions prior to the budget adoption each June. All revenues from this measure will be clearly identifiable in future budgets and audits.