Couch: Kern County In Good Shape, But Challenges Exist

The Board of Supervisors chairman says Kern County remains in good shape, despite plunging oil prices and a lack of available water for agriculture.

David Couch says the county should be able to get through sharply lower tax revenue in 2014.

“Previous boards of supervisors have put away some reserves, so, while the price of oil is going to impact our property tax revenues pretty substantially, we do have some reserves that will help us weather that,” Couch said.

He said the county is being proactive about its money.

“We are addressing the problem early,” he said. “We’re not waiting for the end of the fiscal year.”

Supervisors were forced to declare a fiscal emergency to dip into reserves Tuesday.

Couch was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s 17th-annual State of the County address at the Doubletree Hotel in Bakersfield.

– Anthony Pollreisz