Board of Supervisors Unanimously Completes FY 2010 Budget Markup; Results in No Increase to the Average Taxpayer

April 20, 2009
OPA 087/09

News Highlights  

  • Real estate tax rate set at $1.04.
  • Marked-up budget restores $22.73 million of the $106.4 million reductions in the FY 2010 Proposed Budget.
  • Complete budget information available at

More Information 

Fairfax County FY2010 Budget Logo

On April 20, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, in a unanimous 10-0 vote, marked up the proposed Fiscal Year 2010 Budget, which begins on July 1, 2009. Formal adoption of the budget is scheduled to take place April 27. The Board’s Budget Markup package was presented by Board Chairman Sharon Bulova, who noted that this budget was one of the most challenging ever experienced in Fairfax County. “We are doing this in a year, and at a time that is historic for the economic turmoil roiling throughout this country and the world,” said Bulova.

The FY 2010 marked up budget proposal includes a real estate tax rate of $1.04 per $100 of assessed value. In addition, a stormwater services fee of $0.01 per $100 assessed value (in addition to the real estate tax rate of $1.04 per $100 of assessed value) will be imposed to provide support of stormwater services’ operating and capital project activities through the creation of a new Stormwater Service District. Coupled with a 12.6 percent decline in the average residential assessment, the resulting average tax bill will be a modest reduction from the current fiscal year.

In her remarks accompanying the FY 2010 Budget Markup package, Bulova stated, “We have benefited greatly by the Community Dialogues conducted last fall and winter throughout the county, which engaged our county residents in defining priorities and assisting with identifying programs and services that could be reduced or eliminated. We received excellent suggestions from our county workforce during a series of Budget Brown-Bag lunches. And we received many recommendations and observations through the county’s Web site and phone line, at budget town meetings this spring, and during our four days and nights of public hearings earlier this month.”

Bulova noted, “Of the $106.4 million reductions in the County Executive’s Budget, this package restores $22.73 million by reallocating funding budgeted for fuel ($6.3 million), reducing some of the amount originally needed to absorb state cuts ($5.1 million) and reallocating part of the Penny for Affordable Housing ($10.3 million) to restore critical Human Services and Public Safety programs.” Regarding the Penny for the Preservation of Affordable Housing, Bulova added, “I would like to note that this reallocation should not be interpreted to mean that the board is retreating from its commitment to affordable housing. In fact, some of the reallocation allows us to restore what otherwise would have been cuts or the elimination of housing, or housing-related, programs.”

It is important to note that based on current market trends, it appears that real estate assessments will realize further negative growth in FY 2011 and that overall county revenue will most likely decline in FY 2011. As a result, funding for county and schools spending will be further limited in FY 2011.

Prior to marking up the FY 2010 fiscal plan, the Board of Supervisors approved the FY 2009 Third Quarter Review. This quarterly review required several adjustments impacting both revenues and disbursements for the remainder of FY 2009.

The FY 2010 plan marked up by the board provides for a balanced budget based on a General Fund Revenue reduction of 0.20 percent from the FY 2009 Adopted Budget Plan. Total General Fund Disbursements are projected to total $3.33 billion, a decrease of $92.05 million or 2.69 percent from the FY 2009 Revised Budget Plan. Excluding adjustments in the current fiscal year, the actual decrease from the FY 2009 level is $22.28 million or 0.66 percent from the FY 2009 Adopted Budget Plan.

The FY 2010 Schools transfer for operations totals $1.63 billion, which represents no increase or decrease from the FY 2009 transfer level. In addition, $163.77 million is transferred to School Debt Service. The total county transfer to support School Operating and Debt Service is $1.79 billion or 53.8 percent of total county disbursements. In addition, the Board of Supervisors budget restores reductions in some key programs that impact the schools including School Resource Officers, Clinic Room Aides and Head Start. The Board of Supervisors also increases school bond sales to $155 million per year from the county executive’s recommended $140 million level.

As a result of the board actions, the net change in positions in FY 2010 is a decrease of 306 positions from FY 2009. This includes a reduction of 524 positions in the FY 2010 Advertised Budget Plan as a result of Lines of Business reduction recommendations offset by the restoration of 218 positions as a result of the budget proposal package including 60 positions for Human Services, 72 positions for the Fire and Rescue Department, 63 positions for the Police Department (including 28 for the School Resource Officer Program), 11 positions at the lakefront parks (Lake Accotink, Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax), 2 positions for the Mount Vernon Lockup, 2 Watch Officer positions in the Office of Emergency Management, 2 positions for Air Quality Monitoring in the Health Department, 2 Planning Commission positions, 2 Property Maintenance/Zoning Inspector positions, 1 position at the David Pinn Community Center and 1 position at Green Spring Gardens Park.



FY 2010 tax rates and/or levies are summarized in this chart.



Going forward, the board approved budget guidance for FY 2011 that included directing the county executive to:

  • Provide the Board of Supervisors with regular updates on the FY 2011 financial forecast to assist Board of Supervisors’ decision-making as it relates to guidance to the county and the schools on the strategic priorities and the budgetary support for programs and services in FY 2011. This forecast shall include revenue projections with a focus on the real estate market including regular updates on the number of foreclosures, their location and the impact on the housing market. Preliminary estimates of revenue growth should be provided by September 2009.

  • A Board of Supervisors retreat is being planned to discuss many strategies and opportunities related to county services and the county budget. Specific topics will include a discussion of Board of Supervisors’ priorities, the Affordable Housing Penny fund, employee compensation, the FY 2011 Budget process and opportunities to increase fiscal transparency, and board public hearing procedures. As part of the discussion on the budget process, staff is directed to return to the board with additional ideas and options for the creation of a small, focused Countywide Citizens Committee to make recommendations to the board on a very few, but important, specific budget issues for FY 2011. Examples of specific topics for the committee would be revenue diversification options or consolidation/reorganization opportunities for the board to consider.

In addition, the board indicated it is extremely interested in continuing to educate the community on the budget and the budget process and to engage the community in discussions of what Fairfax County’s priorities should be during difficult economic times. Therefore, the county executive is directed to work with the Board of Supervisors to implement a public input process as part of the FY 2011 Budget that provides opportunity for public comment, in the fall of 2009, through community dialogue sessions in various locations throughout the county. The public input process should include traditional means of gathering and disseminating information about the budget such as community meetings and presentations as well as online and telephone hotline opportunities for public comment.

Further, recognizing the valuable insight that county employees have regarding county services and programs the Board of Supervisors recommends the continued use of employee chats, surveys and anonymous online and telephone hotline forums for employee comments and improvement suggestions.
For more information on the FY 2010 Budget, including revisions made during the April 20 markup session and budget guidance for FY 2011, call the Department of Management and Budget at 703-324-2391, TTY 711, or visit


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