Federal Government Shutdown: County Executive's Statement
Oct. 1, 2013
County Executive Ed Long sent the following message to all county employees today regarding the shutdown of the federal government:
If you’re following the news, you know that the federal government has shut down. While some federal employees are still working, many others are not, some of whom work or live in Fairfax County. We live in a 'company town' and the company is the federal government, so most of us have family and friends who are federal employees or contractors impacted by this shutdown.
With all the questions and confusion about the shutdown, we need to know how this impacts us as Fairfax County employees.
Here is what we know:
- Fairfax County Government is open. We have not shutdown. We are open for business as we are on any other workday.
- Absentee voting continues as scheduled.
- Personal property (car) taxes and registration fees are still due on Monday, Oct. 7.
- Some agencies have been directly impacted: the Fairfax County Park Authority manages and operates Langley Fork Park, which is on land owned by the National Park Service, so the park is now closed and activities in that park are suspended.
- Most federal websites or social media accounts we link to from our county website will not be actively managed during the shutdown. View this federal government webpage for a list of services available during the shutdown.
What about the short and long term impacts of the federal government shutdown on Fairfax County?
My biggest concern is the “domino” effect it will have on the local economy and the short-term uncertainty that will impact business decisions. There are many questions still unanswered:
- The length of the shutdown.
- Whether furloughed federal workers will retroactively get paid.
- Will there be a delay in processing federal grants?
- Will the loss of daily federal commuters impact Metro revenues?
- Will the shutdown and loss of income lead to foreclosures?
- Will there be more need for local social services for federal workers on the margin?
- Will this federal government shutdown cause people to stop buying things and thus reduce our sales tax revenue?
- Would a federal government shutdown impact business and sales tax revenue related to those segments of our business community that receive federal contracts?
- How would a shutdown impact the bond market?
These issues and others might not be resolved immediately. In the meantime, many of the people we serve are under increased stress and in need of enhanced county services.
This morning at a committee meeting, the Board of Supervisors discussed the shutdown and its impact on county resources and staffing, but it is still unclear exactly what this will mean for Fairfax County. No detailed impact analysis has been done because there are still too many unknowns at this time.
Fairfax County has a strong history of taking decisive actions to meet our financial obligations and increased service and resource needs, and we will continue to stay informed about this and other issues that could possibly impact the County budget. I will share more information with you as it becomes available.
Thank you for your continuing service and commitment to Fairfax County and our residents, especially during these uncertain national economic times.