County Executive Proposes $3.59 Billion FY 2014 Budget; Plan for FY 2015 Budget
Feb. 26, 2013
At the Board of Supervisors meeting today, Fairfax County Executive Edward L. Long Jr. presented his proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Budget, including the Multi-Year FY 2014-FY 2015 Budget Plan. He proposed a General Fund budget of $3.59 billion for FY 2014 (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014), a decrease of 0.37 percent from the FY 2013 Revised Budget. (The total of all appropriated funds is $7 billion, including the general fund and other appropriated funds such as federal and state grants.)
The proposed FY 2014 budget includes a 2-cent increase in the Real Estate Tax Rate, from $1.075 to $1.095 per $100 of assessed value. Each penny increase in the Real Estate Tax Rate equals $20.65 million in county revenue.
The proposed budget includes a $2.4 million balance for the Board’s consideration to address high priority requirements in FY 2014 or to be held in reserve for FY 2015. The county executive’s budget also includes a multi-year budget framework for FY 2015, which currently has a projected budget shortfall of $39.7 million. This multi-year budget planning approach allows the county to address challenges on a longer-term basis, even though the Board of Supervisors is still required to make budget and appropriation decisions on an annual basis.
“We have heard from residents that we should continue with current service levels and program delivery, which we maintained through the last few years of the recession by downsizing effectively and responsibly,” explained Long. “Moving forward, we must put in place a longer-term focus on investment in the county’s future, which requires constrained spending and strategic funding priorities. We are also forced to recognize the significant yet unknown impact that is expected from federal sequestration and the continuing challenges of a slowly recovering economy.”
The recommended transfer to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) operations is $1.72 billion, an increase of $33.7 million or 2 percent over FY 2013. Including transfers for school debt service, the total proposed transfer to FCPS is $1.89 billion, comprising 52.6 percent of proposed county budget expenditures. The proposed county budget also includes $67.9 million in additional support to FCPS for services including Head Start, school resource officers, crossing guards and recreational programs, among others.
Long noted in his presentation that the residential equalization – or change in assessments of existing residential property – increased 3.5 percent from last year. Residential real estate revenue accounts for approximately 74.4 percent of the county’s tax base. Nonresidential values remained flat, increasing only 0.14 percent in FY 2013.
“Despite growth in residential real estate revenue, funding decisions made last year make it critical for us to be constrained in our spending,” noted Long.
Public hearings on the proposed FY 2014 Budget are Tuesday, April 9 at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 10 at 3 p.m. and Thursday, April 11 at 3 p.m. Those wishing to speak at a public hearing can sign up online to place their name on the speakers list, or contact the Office of the Clerk to the Board at 703-324-3151, TTY 703-324-3903. The public hearings will be held in the Board Auditorium, Fairfax County Government Center and will be televised live on Fairfax County Government Channel 16. The Board of Supervisors will adopt the county’s FY 2014 budget on April 30. Other key dates are online.
Summary of Proposed Budget Recommendations:
- The balanced budget includes revenue increases, constrained spending, reduced reliance on one-time balances and strategic allocation of resources.
- A proposed 2-cent Real Estate Tax Rate increase from $1.075 to $1.095 (per $100 of assessed value), which primarily represents the 2 percent increase in the proposed General Fund Transfer to FCPS, as well as public safety funding.
- County agency reductions of $20.52 million, including the elimination of 91 merit positions.
- No employee compensation increase for FY 2014.
- Funding for major human services and public safety requirements.
- Program fee increases including School Age Child Care (SACC), Rec-PAC program and land development.
Online resources include:
- Budget details and information, including archives.
- Budget Primer to assist residents in understanding the budget and the budget process.
- Schedule of Board of Supervisors' budget town hall meetings.
- Information on real estate tax assessments.