Board of Supervisors Marks Up FY 2011 Budget


April 20, 2010
OPA 082/10

News Highlights  

  • Real estate tax rate set at $1.09.
  • Net reduction to average homeowner’s tax bill is $26.93.
  • Proposed Fairfax Connector route reductions restored.
  • Complete budget information available online.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors marked up today the proposed Fiscal Year 2011 Budget, which begins on July 1, 2010.  Formal adoption of the budget is scheduled to take place April 27. The marked-up budget includes a real estate tax rate of $1.09 per $100 of assessed value, a five-cent increase from the $1.04 rate in FY 2010, and establishes a Vehicle Registration License fee of $33 per vehicle for most vehicles.

The FY 2011 plan marked up by the board provides for a balanced budget based on a General Fund Revenue reduction of 2.31 percent from the FY 2010 Adopted Budget Plan. General Fund Disbursements are projected to total $3.31 billion, a decrease of $92.2 million or 2.71 percent from the FY 2010 Revised Budget Plan. Excluding adjustments in the current fiscal year, the actual decrease from the FY 2010 level is $22.3 million or0.67 percent from the FY 2010 Adopted Budget Plan.

The deep economic recession, which officially began in December 2007, continues to present significant challenges to the county in the face of declining revenues coupled with an increased demand for services. Families and individuals continue to turn to the county for help with food stamps, utility assistance, rent and housing assistance and finding jobs. Consequently, the Board of Supervisors opted to balance the FY 2011 Budget using a combination of revenue enhancements, agency expenditure reductions, and maintaining the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) transfer at the county executive’s recommended level. The FY 2011 school transfer for operations totals $1.61 billion, which represents a 1 percent decrease from the FY 2010 transfer level.

However, the approved transfer level, in combination with the impact of full state funding of the positive Local Composite Index formula adjustment, which gained the county $61 million, fully funds the School Board’s operating request and enables the restoration of band and music and language immersion programs.The transfer also provides the school system with a $45 million balance for future Virginia Retirement System requirements.

The FY 2011 marked-up budget proposal includes an increase to the stormwater services fee from $0.01 to $0.015 per $100 assessed value (in addition to the real estate tax rate of $1.09 per $100 of assessed value). Based on these two tax rate adjustments, the net reduction for the average homeowner’s tax bill is $26.93.

The sewer service charge increases by 77 cents per 1,000 gallons, from $4.50 to $5.27. This fee increase addresses aging sewer infrastructure and ensures compliance with state and federal clean water and environmental mandates. Notwithstanding this increase, the county’s sewer service charge remain among the lowest in the region.

As a result of the board’s actions, the net change in positions in FY 2011 is a decrease of 176 positions from FY 2010. Of the net 284 positions proposed for reduction in theFY 2011 Advertised Budget Plan, the board restored 107 positions and added funding for a new position to the Office of the Financial and Program Auditor. The restorations include nine positions for human services; 28 positions for the Fire and Rescue Department; 38 positions for the Police Department (including 26 School Resource Officers for middle schools); and 27 positions for parks and libraries, including 10 positions to partially restore hours at regional libraries and 12 positions for parks ground maintenance.  In addition, this budget restores all proposed Fairfax Connector route reductions.

The budget features many reorganizations that will help reduce the cost of providing services and will improve the delivery of services. Agencies and departments impacted include Community and Recreation Services, Department of Systems Management for Human Services, Senior Services, Community Services Board, Systems of Care, Code Enforcement, Clerk to the Board and Planning Commission.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova noted that this budget was one of the most challenging ever experienced in Fairfax County. “The process of closing this shortfall has been one of impressive community engagement, creativity and collaboration among county staff and our non-profit partners,” she said.

Bulova attributes the successful budget process to collaborative input and community dialogue, which included more than 20 town meetings and forums in spring 2010 and hundreds of speakers at this year’s public hearings.

Bulova also noted a 6 percent decline in residential property values and an 18 percent drop in commercial property values. In addition, the challenge of home foreclosures still resonates, affecting more than 700 homes in the county in March 2010 alone. Consequently, county officials believe that based on current market trends, it appears that real estate assessments will realize further negative growth in FY 2012 and that overall county revenue will most likely decline in FY 2012.

The total county transfer to support School Operating and Debt Service is $1.77 billion or 53.5 percent of total county disbursements. The Board of Supervisors also maintains the school bond sales at $155 million per year, and includes referenda for FCPS in the amount of $240 million each in fall 2011 and fall 2013 and Metro Matters for $120 million in fall 2010 with other referenda on hold. 

The board also completely funded the Priority 1 requirements of the Affordable Housing Blueprint through the use of $4 million in available operating revenues from Wedgewood to fund the Bridging Affordability portion of the blueprint and the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) recommendation for long-term financing for the capital projects at Lincolnia, North Hill and Lewinsville.

Tax Rate and Fee Adjustments for FY 2011:

Type

Unit

FY 2009 Actual Rate

FY 2010 Actual Rate

FY 2011 Advertised
Rate

FY 2011 Adopted
Rate

Real Estate

$100/Assessed Value

$0.92

$1.04

$1.09

$1.09

Personal Property

$100/Assessed Value

$4.57

$4.57

$4.57

$4.57

Commercial Real Estate Tax for Transportation

 

$100/Assessed Value

 

NA

 

$0.11

 

$0.11

 

$0.11

Stormwater Service District

$100/Assessed Value

NA

$0.010

$0.015

$0.015

Leaf Collection

$100/Assessed Value

$0.015

$0.015

$0.015

$0.015

Refuse Collection

Household

$345

$345

$345

$345

Refuse Disposal

Ton

$57

$60

$60

$60

Solid Waste – Energy/ Resource Recovery Facility

 

Ton


$32


$31


$31


$31

Solid Waste Landfill Ash Disposal

Ton

$11.50

$13.50

$13.50

$13.50

Sewer Availability Charge

Residential – Single Fam.

$6,896

$7,310

$7,750

$7,750

Sewer Service Charge

1,000 Gallons

$4.10

$4.50

$5.27

$5.27

McLean Community Center

$100/Assessed Value

$0.026

$0.024

$0.024

$0.024

Reston Community Center

$100/Assessed Value

$0.047

$0.047

$0.047

$0.047

Burgundy Village Comm. Center

$100/Assessed Value

$0.020

$0.020

$0.020

$0.020

Integrated Pest Mgmt. Program

$100/Assessed Value

$0.001

$0.001

$0.001

$0.001


Prior to marking up the FY 2011 fiscal plan, the Board of Supervisors approved the FY 2010 Third Quarter Review. This quarterly review required several adjustments impacting both revenues and disbursements for the remainder of FY 2010.

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

  • Provide the Board of Supervisors with a financial forecast for FY 2012 by fall 2010 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 2012. This forecast should include revenue projections with a focus on the real estate market and disbursement requirements for FY 2012 and the next several years.

  • To return by fall 2010 with a plan for identifying further saving opportunities to address budget shortfalls. In addition, the plan should include opportunities for the Board of Supervisors to look at specific programs and departments for efficiencies and improvements. Specific areas for review could include Housing and Community Development, wastewater management system, vehicle standards and replacement policies and a review of existing county outsourcing.

In addition, the board acknowledged the importance of continuing to educate the community on the budget and the budget process and engaging the community in discussions of what Fairfax County’s priorities should be during difficult economic times. The county executive was directed to work with the Board of Supervisors to implement a public input process as part of the FY 2012 Budget that provides opportunities for public comment, in fall 2010, through continued dialogue and with an increased use of technology and television.

Complete budget information, including revisions made during the budget mark-up session, is available online or by calling the Department of Management and Budget at 703-324-2391, TTY 711.

###


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publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov
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