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Budget Warning: Fresno Could Be $10 Million in the Red for 2024-25
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 months ago on
February 23, 2024

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Next year’s Fresno city budget could be $10 million in the red.

Administration, city council preparing to save money now.

Classic artwork has new city home.


Fresno’s city budget will be OK  for the rest of the fiscal year. However, City Manager Georgeanne White had a major warning for next year.

“We are anticipating right now to finish the year in the black, but I want to make sure that we are planning to return to council at the end of March to present an updated five-year general fund projection. And with what we’re looking at today, we’re projecting to end fiscal year ’25 in the red,” White said.

White said the deficit is currently projected at $10 million. Increased expenses and costs are the main culprits. The city should have about $626,900 left over from this year’s budget. White wants to start planning now to increase the carryover.

“This is sobering,” Councilmember Mike Karbassi said.

Other Budget Figures

While 2024 sales tax revenues will be $5 million short of the projections made last year, property tax revenues are $5 million over estimates, essentially a wash for the city.

Cannabis revenues, as was the case last year, are below budget projections. This time, they are $3 million under the initial estimate.

White said the shortfall stems from the lengthy time it took stores to open. Seven are open now and several more are in the process. Mayor Jerry Dyer says illegal marijuana sales in the city are holding back revenue.

White told the city council that the remaining cannabis licenses will be awarded when litigation — lawsuits from previous applicants who did not receive a license — is resolved. She did not have a timetable.

Franchise fees are up $3.4 million over projections. Assistant City Manager Ruthie Quinto said some of that is from PG&E and their increased rates. More for PG&E means more for the city.

Councilmembers Annalisa Perea and Miguel Arias also want the city to go after companies like Airbnb for a share of rental revenues.

Other City Council Notes

Other notable items from Thursday’s city council meeting:

  • A proposal to increase penalties for graffiti passed 7-0. It will come back for a second vote at a future meeting;
  • The city council approved 7-0 a $15,000 raise for City Attorney Andrew Janz;
  • On a 7-0 vote, the Clement Renzi artwork “A Day in the Park” will be displayed at Storyland in Roeding Park. The Fagbule family donated the artwork after it was the only thing remaining following a 2023 fire at the Fabule Events Center;
[Update, 2/26/2024: the original story said the city purchased the art. It was donated.]
  • Approve a new way to form city committees and also form the Master Tax Sharing Agreement subcommittee. Both were 7-0 votes;
  • Rename the yet-to-be-constructed South Tower Park, at Broadway and Elizabeth streets, to Broadway Parque. The vote was 7-0;
  • Tabled, by a 7-0 vote, a discussion to crack down on warming fires.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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