Suggestion, add an Abandon city option.
Raising a city should give you plenty of cash, and resources that are linked, it would be like a massive looting exercise took place, say random 25-50% of all resources that went into the city and 5 turns of its output. I'm not sure what you do get for raising one, but it always seems a little low. Most of the wealth from wars came from sacking and raising cities.
Abandon should be available from the start, you get nothing, but it is wiped off the map.
This is along the lines I was expecting, yes.
Just by way to clarify my situation though, I have started over, and this time I am making money hand over fist. Two things are different this time from the last:
1) I picked a standard human Kingdom this time, and not a Fallen empire like last time. Perhaps I am imagining it, but there seems to be many more economic buildings available for the Kingdoms, and ways to shore up their infrastructure. Perhaps the Fallen are designed more for conquest, however I still managed to bankrupt myself with conquest as the Fallen.
2)Rather than found an early city in my meager starting resources, I simply conquered the first rival city I found with my Lord and Hero recruits. That bastard was sitting on double goldmines, double great libraries, a food square and an iron deposit all within level 2 city range. He has also built up the infrastructure there for me, sparing me the cost of doing so.
It seems clear to me that founding a city right off the bat is a sucker bet. With exploration there is usually a better option, and its not like you have the tech to build the most helpful buildings early on anyways. Perhaps this varies on larger maps however.
Thanks for all the replies!