County Executive Proposes $3.3 Billion FY 2011 Budget
Feb. 23, 2010
At the Board of Supervisors meeting today, Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin proposed a General Fund budget of $3,294,107,674 for Fiscal Year 2011 (July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011), a decrease of $133.3 million or 3.9 percent from the FY 2010 Revised Budget Plan. Excluding adjustments in the current fiscal year, the decrease from the FY 2010 Adopted Budget is $36.3 million or 1.1 percent. The proposed budget increases the real estate tax rate from $1.04 to $1.09 per $100 of assessed value. The total of all appropriated funds is $6,085,994,891.
The recommended transfer to the Public School Operating Fund is $1,610,334,722, reflecting a 1 percent decrease from the FY 2010 Adopted Budget Plan. However, the transfer request approved by the Fairfax County School Board on Feb. 4, is $1,708.5 million, an increase of $81.9 million, or 5 percent over the FY 2010 Adopted Budget Plan transfer. In addition, the county’s transfer for School Debt Service is $160.7 million, a decrease of $3.06 million from the FY 2010 Adopted Budget Plan. The combined transfer for School Operations and Debt Service is $1.771 billion, a decrease of $19.3 million or 1.08 percent from the FY 2010 funding level, which represents 53.8 percent of total County General Fund Disbursements.
The recommended real estate tax rate of $1.09 per $100 Assessed Value will hold average taxes paid by residential property owners relatively flat with their FY 2010 payment level. At the proposed real estate tax rate of $1.09, the taxes paid by the average residential taxpayer will be $48.55 less than their FY 2010 tax bill. Griffin also recommended a $33 vehicle registration license fee that will generate an additional $27 million as part of his recommended revenue enhancements.
The county executive’s proposed budget includes expenditure reductions totaling $103.3 million and eliminates a net 284/282.73 SYE regular positions. In addition, there are no compensation increases for county employees in the FY 2011 budget. Some of the agency budget reductions take advantage of cost saving strategies; however, many reduce services residents currently use. The reduction alternatives include modification in county service hours and service levels, staffing decreases and service delivery models.
“This year, in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, we are experiencing many significant challenges and changing circumstances that place strains and stresses on our community and our county government,” said Griffin. “At a time of declining revenues from both county sources and our intergovernmental partners, we are also seeing increased demand for county services by our residents. These strains and stresses have made developing this budget much more complex and difficult than in years past.”
In order to eliminate a projected deficit of $257.2 million, Griffin outlined a four-step strategy that sought a balanced approach to the county’s budget challenges:
Step 1: Targeted Spending Requirements and Reduced County
Step 2: Strategic Use of Reserves
Step 3: Continued Support for Fairfax County Public Schools
- Step 4: Reasonable Revenue Enhancements
In his presentation, Griffin added that this approach was consistently validated in community dialogues and employee brownbag sessions held on the budget this fall. All areas of the county’s budget will be affected, including schools, public safety and human services, which together comprise approximately 75 percent of the budget. Griffin noted that without cuts to these areas, it would not be possible to balance the budget while maintaining an acceptable and sustainable level of services. Throughout the community dialogue sessions, county residents endorsed the principles of maintaining the current quality of life in Fairfax County.
In summarizing his budget address, Griffin emphasized that future financial forecasts reflect flat revenue projections and consequently this “new normal” economic environment means all FY 2011 reductions will be permanent, and that the economic recovery from the current recession will be less robust than seen in previous recoveries. Griffin noted that this means that there will be no organizational growth in Fairfax County government for the foreseeable future.
Public hearings on the FY 2011 fiscal plan have been set for Tuesday, April 6, at 6 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday, April 7-8, at 3 p.m. Those wishing to speak at any of the public hearings should contact the Office of the Clerk to the Board at 703-324-3151, TTY 703-324-3903, to place their name on the speakers list or sign up online. The Board of Supervisors will adopt the budget on April 27. Key budget dates are available online.
For more information on the FY 2011 Advertised Budget Plan, contact the Department of Management and Budget at 703-324-2391, TTY 711, or access the budget online. The entire budget is also available on CD-ROM.
In addition, the public is encouraged to share their thoughts on the budget by submitting comments online or through the budget hotline, 703-324-9400.
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711