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UPDATE: City Council Approves Business Relief Proposal

Plan suspends fees and interest temporarily

UPDATE, posted April 9, 2020

The Bakersfield City Council approved the proposed business relief actions by a unanimous 7-0 vote at the April 8, 2020 City Council meeting.

The actions go into effect as stated below.

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ORIGINAL STORY, posted April 7, 2020

The Bakersfield City Council is expected to vote on April 8 on a plan that will offer economic relief to local businesses affected by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.

The City has implemented numerous measures in response to the health crisis in order to reduce the potential exposure to and spread of the virus. Those actions, while necessary and effective in addressing the public health emergency, have also had significant impact on businesses in the City.

City Staff has proposed enacting several measures in order to support Bakersfield businesses experiencing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 emergency:

  1. Suspending all delinquent fees and related interest for City charges for service and utilities (both commercial and residential), effective immediately, through June 30, 2020.
  2. Deferring of payment of transient occupancy tax and waiver of late penalty fees, of collections made through May 31, 2020, delaying payment for that time period until July 1, 2020;
  3. Automatically and uniformly enacting the extension of the payment deadline for Business License Permits to August 1, 2020, pursuant to powers granted to the finance director in Chapter 5.02.210 of the Bakersfield Municipal Code. Traditionally these permit fees are due in July;
  4. Formally delay the update of the City’s Master Fee Schedule by one calendar year from May 2020 to May 2021.

The suspension of delinquent fees and interest is only temporary; balances for City charges for service will remain due in the future.

These actions will not affect the collection of sales or property taxes. Those taxes are not collected directly by the City of Bakersfield.

The City recognizes the potential hardships local businesses continue to face in light of the COVID-19 emergency. By taking the above actions, the City can help by providing temporary relief for businesses and residents in order to reduce the long-term impacts to the local economy. Staff continues to monitor the situation, and will develop additional resources and tools to address local business concerns as necessary.

The City will continue to update its COVID-19 webpage with resources as they
become available.