Ridgecrest, Ca.-Town and Cities across the state are facing financial woes as they scramble to backfill and borrow internally to close the deficit gaps in their budget. Following the City of Ridgecrest located north of Yucca Valley in Kern County with similar demographics and a budget of $10 million, their latest audit presentation shows a sobering financial outlook.
Having tried unsuccessfully for 5 years to pass a General Fund tax, Measure L barely passed last June increasing their sales tax by 3/4% for 5 years, raising the sales tax from 7 1/4% to 8%. While the anticipated tax revenue was expected to be around $1.5 million, that figure was adjusted down due to a further decrease in sales to $1.3 million.
A Cactus Thorns post described drastic cuts Ridgecrest made in their Parks & Recreation department and laid off several police officers. link
The Oversight Committee demanded and received ten years of financial records to set up a base for their expectations of the Measure L tax increments that were “verbally” dedicated to road and police. Having been informed by the Ridgecrest City Attorney these are “General Fund” taxes that can be spent on anything resulted in a clash between the Committee and the City. link
The Ridgecrest news reports, “Last year, the city had $10.67 million in general fund expenditures and a negative deficit of $614,000. In 2007, the reserve stood at $2 million. Over the subsequent five years, steadily dropped that reserve. At the end of the 2012 fiscal year, the general fund only had $7,600 in cash.” Read entire story: link
More updates will be posted .
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