Tax oversight committee plans to hold Bakersfield City Council accountable

The nine members of the tax oversight committee. (KBAK/KBFX)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -Nine new faces have been appointed to advise the Bakersfield City Council on how to spend the estimated $50 million raised by the one-percent city sales-tax increase.

The tax oversight committee represents a wide range of industries, from real estate and medicine, to labor unions, small businesses and community action. The committee’s focus is on ensuring tax-payer money goes where it’s promised.

Mitchell Rowland is one of the committee members He is a private investigator who spent seven years on the Bakersfield Police Department. He said he traditionally does not vote in favor of tax increases, but this past election, he voted yes on Measure N.

"I actually thought that it was time to bring the standards of the city and the police department and the fire department up to a greater level," Rowland said. "And I felt that this was the one time when I'd be willing to spend more of my own money to help the quality of life for people in Bakersfield."

The committee will advise, rather than decide, on where tax revenue goes.

"To be kind of the bridge, the conduit, between the citizens and the council is really exciting and I’m, I'm excited to get started," Jeremy Tobias, CEO of Community Action Partnership of Kern, one of the committee members, said.

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