Fresno County’s Measure E returns to voters

The proposed sales tax seeks to raise $63 million annually to benefit the Fresno State campus by funding academic and athletic facilities

Fresno State signage located on the north west corner of Shaw Ave. and Maple Ave. (Kenny Goodman)
Fresno State signage located on the north west corner of Shaw Ave. and Maple Ave. (Kenny Goodman)
Darren Fraser
Published October 31, 2023  • 
11:00 am

FRESNO COUNTY – In a deja vu moment for Fresno County voters, Measure E is returning to the 2024 ballot, a 0.25 cent sales tax that could have a profound impact on the renovations, expansions and developments of various Fresno State facilities.

On March 5, Fresno County voters will decide if the tax will generate $63 million annually and $1.6 billion over 25 years to benefit academic and athletic facilities at Fresno State University (FSU).

The Fresno Board of Supervisors (Board) gathered the requisite number of signatures to qualify Measure E for the Presidential Primary Election.

According to a project list published on YesOnMeasureE.com, the taxes will be applied to 36 academic and athletic programs at the university. The total cost for the projects is $1,578,484,163. Over 84% of the money raised by Measure E goes towards academic programs and roughly 15% will go towards athletic programs.

The measure has the support of Congressman Jim Costa, Assemblymember Jim Patterson, Mayor Jerry Dyer, Board Supervisor Sal Quintero, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation CEO Dora Westerlund and Clovis Unified Superintendent Terry Bradley.

FAILED IN 2022

In November 2022, over 52% of Fresno voters opposed the measure. According to election results, voters in Fresno voted in favor of the measure but voters in rural communities largely voted against it.

A map of voter precincts published by the Fresno County Clerk/Registrar of Voters showed that in addition to rural communities, mountain communities in the county also opposed the measure.

LIST OF PROJECTS

The list of FSU projects is extensive. Improvements to campus wide critical facilities total over $313 million. These include upgrading fire alarms, electrical and plumbing projects, and replacing HVAC systems and elevators.

Academic projects are the most expensive, totaling $433,750,000. These include:

  • $45 million for a 1,200 seat concert hall;
  •  $35 million for improvements to the Grosse Industrial Technology facility;
  •  $60 million expansion of the Lyles College of Engineering;
  •  $60 million for a new School of Nursing building;
  • $35 million renovation for the John Wright Theater;
  • $40 million for the Ag Innovation Center/Water Institute;
  • $50 million for the Social Sciences/Criminology expansion; and
  •  Over $48.7 million for the Farm Laboratory modernization.

Athletic programs total over $244 million, including two stadium modernization projects for $160 million. Other projects include $47 million to modernize the C. Duncan Athletic Center Facility, upgrades to the track and soccer stadium locker room, and improvements to the tennis stadium as well as upgrades to the Save Mart Center.

Darren Fraser
Reporter