Mandates: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (Fairfax County, Virginia)
Fairfax County Mandates: FAQs
What is a mandate?
A mandate is a directive passed by either the federal or state government, imposing requirements (e.g., legal, reporting, service provision, financial) on a lower level of government.
What is an example of a federal mandate?
An example of a federal mandate is the Americans with Disabilities Act, requiring Fairfax County to provide reasonable accommodation to a job or work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions.
What is an example of a state mandate?
An example of a state mandate is the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, requiring Fairfax County to enforce state building regulations that govern the construction of a new building, repairing an existing building, or renovating/changing the use of a building.
Why are unfunded mandates important to Fairfax County?
Unfunded mandates are important to Fairfax County because they compel the Board of Supervisors to divert local tax dollars to support federal and state programs rather than using tax dollars to support and expand local services and priorities.
How much money does the County spend on mandates annually?
In FY 2006, Fairfax County spent approximately $1,193 million to meet federal and state mandates, of which the County received $533 million in revenue, for a net cost to the County of $660 million. In FY 2007, the County expects to spend approximately $1,268 million, an increase of $75 million over FY 2006. The County will receive Federal/State/User Fee/Other revenue of approximately $553 million which will partially offset the expenditures for a net cost to the County for federal/state mandates of $715 million.
What does UMRA stand for?
UMRA stands for the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. In an effort to provide Congress with fiscal information before legislation is voted on, this Act requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to estimate the costs of federal mandates contained in proposed legislation for each bill containing an annual aggregate impact of $50 million or more on the public sector (i.e., state and local governments) or $100 million on the private sector, in any of the first 5 fiscal years the mandate would be effective. These dollar thresholds in the UMRA are in 1996 dollars and are adjusted annually for inflation.