County Awaits Consultant Study of Pension Plan Options
July 2011 - This Fall the Board of Supervisors and County staff will receive a consultant’s report outlining options for addressing the County’s $1.7 unfunded pension liability, and advice regarding how to put our retirement plans on a more firm, long-term, financial footing. I eagerly await the consultant’s report.

Board Makes Right Decision on Covanta
March 2011 - During our meeting last week, the Board of Supervisors made the right decision when we opted not to purchase the Covanta incinerator, and instead agreed to a new long-term lease.

County Executive’s Proposal Begins the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Deliberations
February 2011 - Last week, County Executive Anthony Griffin released his proposed County Budget for FY 2012, which begins July 1, 2011. Because residential property values increased 2.34 percent over FY11, the average homeowner would pay an additional $110 under the County Executive’s budget. In this section there is also a budget survey, similar to last years, as well as an article on the tax assessments for the coming year.

Proposed School Budget Includes Increased County Transfer Request
January 2011 - On Thursday, January 6, Fairfax County Public School Superintendent Jack Dale presented his proposed budget to the School Board. In it, he requests that the Fairfax County transfer be increased by $48.8 million, or three percent more than Fiscal Year 2011.

Initial Budget Forecast Shows Need for Continued Spending Reductions
November 2010 - Fairfax County is not out of the fiscal woods yet. That was the message made clear from the initial budget forecast presented to the Board of Supervisors by senior County staff on October 24. As it stands today, Fairfax County faces a $55 million shortfall in the coming year, rising to $120 million if property tax payments are kept at their present level. By law, the budget must be balanced when passed next April.

Important County Changes
August 2010 - Two consolidated departments, Code Compliance and Neighborhood and Community Services, get their start as a result of Fiscal Year 2011 budget restructurings.

A Summary Look at the Fiscal Year 2011 Adopted Budget
May 2010 - On April 27th, 2010 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget, which begins on July 1. The FY 2011 plan approved by the board provided a balanced budget. Total General Fund Disbursements are projected to total $3.31 billion, a decrease of $92.2 million or 2.71 percent compared to the FY 2010 Revised Budget Plan.

State Budget Provides Large Net Increase for Fairfax Public Schools
April 2010 - Two actions of the General Assembly produced some significant changes in state funding for Fairfax County Public Schools.

County Executive’s Proposed Budget Cuts Spending, Increases Taxes
March 2010 - Last week, County Executive Anthony Griffin released his proposed County Budget for FY 2011, which begins July 1, 2010. County revenue is projected to drop six percent due to falling residential and commercial real estate values and decreasing sales tax and deed recordation revenues. Along with some spending requirements to address the sustainability of our retirement systems and our fiduciary responsibilities, these reductions result in a $257 million shortfall. To close this gap, Mr. Griffin proposed a number of measures

Fairfax County Needs a New Savings Account
March 2010 - As we grapple with the worst County budget picture in decades, some residents rightly ask, “Is there anything we can do to help cushion this kind of blow in the future?” The answer is yes. Fairfax County needs a savings account; in this case something called a fluctuation reserve. In bad years, the County could draw on this fund, just like a family who sets money aside in good times, to be used in tough times.

Seeking Your Input: County Budget Questions
January 2010 - To help Supervisor Cook assess available options, please answer the following questions. You may email your answers to braddock@fairfaxcounty.gov and write “budget survey” in the subject line, or mail the responses to the office.

Seeking your Input: Should the School System Help in Meeting the Budget Challenge? 
September 2009 - In our July newsletter we laid out the County’s upcoming budget challenge in clear terms. From 2000 to 2007 real estate tax payments doubled. Spending increased an average of six percent per year on the county side and the county transfer to the schools increased seven percent.  Then the economy collapsed. Now next year, even if we start no new programs, hold all existing programs to their current dollar level, and not give any pay raises, we are still faced with a potential $315 million shortfall due to declining real estate tax revenue.

Board Retreat Covers Significant Ground
July 2009 - The first Board of Supervisors’ retreat in five years covered significant ground on the County budget, affordable housing policy and transportation, among other issues. I was pleased to participate in these important discussions.

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