City of Benicia Facing $6-$9 M Deficit, Consolidates Departments to Save Tax Dollars

The City of Benicia unveiled a reorganization plan that will save Benicia taxpayers over a million dollars a year on an ongoing basis. This is just the beginning of an effort to cut expenses to balance the city’s $6-$9 million annual budget shortfall.


Benicia City Manager Mario Giuliani, appointed two months ago, announced an organizational restructuring that will move the city’s Parks Maintenance and Landscaping Division and Building Maintenance Division from the Department of Parks and Community Services to Public Works. An associated hiring freeze and elimination of seven positions within the city will save taxpayers over a million dollars a year. The elimination of positions will limit the services that the city can provide maintaining parks and city owned buildings.


“Dealing with fiscal challenges is never easy, but our community is facing our budget imbalance head on. We are not waiting until it's too late to act,” said Benicia City Manager Mario Giuliani. “We are taking deliberate action and proceeding with a plan of reducing expenditures, seeking additional local investment and facilitating new development to address this systemic issue. Our community is resilient and engaged; we will make the necessary sacrifices today so we can secure a vibrant and prosperous future.”


With an estimated 10 percent operational budget deficit, the reorganization was necessary for the city to cut costs where possible. The city’s budget deficit is due to expenses continuing to outpace revenues, user and developer fees not increasing with inflation and increasing costs due to the deterioration of roads and infrastructure. Unlike most cities, Benicia is a full-service city, providing water, wastewater, parks, recreation, library, police and fire services.  


Although the reorganization will save the city over $1 million, more cost savings are needed; at least an additional $6.5 million still needs to be cut by July 1, 2025 to balance the budget. As a result, the City of Benicia plans to put a general sales tax measure of a three-quarters-of-a-cent increase and a transient occupancy tax (hotel tax) rate increase on the ballot in the Presidential Primary Election in March 2024. Even with the passage of both measures additional cuts will still be needed. To learn more about the City’s budget challenges, visit


The city is in the process of strategic and resiliency planning with staff, Benicia City Council and the community to evaluate priorities and goals to achieve in the next several years, including additional revenue stream opportunities. To learn more about the strategic planning process, visit


About the City of Benicia

The City of Benicia is a Bay Area City located adjacent to the Carquinez Strait, which is part of San Francisco Bay. A waterfront City of 28,000, Benicia is known for its small-town charm, history, and high quality of life. Benicia offers an abundance of leisure and recreational activities. To learn more, visit


About Benicia Public Works Department

The Public Works Department is responsible for the infrastructure that makes life in Benicia so wonderful. The streets, water, and wastewater divisions are some of the most notable responsibilities of the department, but Public Works also includes administration, engineering services, the city's capital improvement program, fleet maintenance, stormwater, flood management, and now city parks, including 211 developed parks and landscaped acres, plus one 577-acre regional park, city owned cemetery and 35 city owned buildings.


About Benicia Parks and Community Services Department

The Community Services Department, also known as BeniciaRec, provides programs and services for residents of all ages; from drop-in programs for kids under 5, to youth and adult sports and enrichment classes, to Senior programs. The department manages and oversees operations of the City Gym, Senior Center, Benicia Community Center, James Lemos Pool and outdoor sports facilities. The Community Center is the department hub, and home to a preschool program, an after school program that serves students from all elementary schools and Benicia Middle School, and a robust Senior exercise program. Picnic sites and venues for private events, including the historic Clock Tower, can be reserved through BeniciaRec. The Benicia Sports Board, a collection of local non-profit youth and adult sports organizations, is managed by the Community Services Department, who also coordinates the scheduling of all city owned athletic courts/fields. The administrative division of Community Services leads the Special Events Committee for the City, providing governance of both city sponsored and external special events.