Taxation Governance - 2011 Legislative Program
4. The local tax structure, which has become outdated and over-reliant on property taxes, must be modernized.
Local government revenues must be diversified, including the provision of equal taxing authority for counties and cities, without state mandated restrictions on use or caps on capacity. Currently, about 90 percent of Fairfax County’s revenues are capped, restricted or controlled by the state, which forces a dependence on the local real estate tax and prevents the creation of a more flexible tax base, structured to reflect the local economy and the core needs of County residents.
The decline of state revenues and subsequent state budget cuts passed on to localities will exacerbate this imbalance. Where possible, the state should consider updating state and local taxes to reflect changes in the economy or technology; avoid any expansion of revenue-sharing mechanisms controlled by the state; avoid any new state mandates while fully funding and/or reducing current requirements; avoid any diminution of current local taxing authority (including BPOL and machinery and tools taxes) and lessen restrictions currently imposed on local revenues; or lessen current restrictions on the use of state funds now provided to localities for shared responsibilities. (Revises and reaffirms previous position.)