Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer presents proposed 2025 budget

Most revenue is coming in from property and sales taxes, along with business licenses and cannabis businesses.

Kate Nemarich Image
Thursday, May 16, 2024
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer presents proposed 2025 budget
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer is laying out the budget for the city's upcoming fiscal year.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer is laying out the budget for the city's upcoming fiscal year.

The mayor is proposing a $2 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2025, with the general fund accounting for nearly $483 million.

Revenue will mostly depend on property taxes, sales tax, and a new Airbnb room tax matching the existing hotel tax in the city.

The mayor points to growing expenses as the primary reason for the city's nearly $47 million deficit.

"Our expenses are outpacing our revenues in the City of Fresno and the primary drivers for these increases in expenses are PG&E, which is $4.8 million increase for the city for city wide departments," said Dyer.

To offset that deficit, the mayor plans to use American Rescue Act funds, asked departments to make cuts, as well as opt for bonds and leases for major projects.

"Paying $30 million outright for communication center and a fire station, you bond that over a period of time, just like you would for your home. Not very many people are in a position to buy their home outright in cash," Dyer explained.

"So, they take out a mortgage and pay it off over 30 years or 20 years and that's what we do with our structures."

Council member Mike Karbassi says there are pros and cons to bonding because it does incur some interest.

"The benefit right now of bonding is that we have such a strong credit rating because we've increased our reserves, and we've made really strong decisions in the past budgets, we now can use that credit to help us offset some other costs," said Karbassi.

Fresno City Fire benefitted from the Federal SAFER Grant last year to add 45 new firefighters, but now the cost to maintain those positions has fallen to the city.

The department will be reducing staffing at three fire stations from four to three firefighters at a time, something the chief says will impact service to a degree.

"Statistics prove that for people on companies allow you to do tasks quicker you have more people you're allowed to do tasks quicker but when you're presented with the you know, financial fiscal challenges we have, you know, we did everything we could to find the least amount of impacts to organization," said Fresno Fire Chief Billy Alcorn.

However, Karbassi hopes they can find alternative ways to cut spending rather than reduce fire station staffing.

The budget will be presented to the Fresno City Council on Thursday and then will go into negotiations in June along with opening it up to public comment.

The budget must be adopted by June 30th.

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