Budget forecasts presented Nov. 24 by County Executive Edward Long and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Karen Garza illustrate the ongoing challenges facing the county and public schools. The county is forecasting an $85 million deficit for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017; FCPS forecasts a $60.6 million deficit. The forecasts for the FY 2017 budget (begins July 1, 2016) were presented at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors and School Board.
- Job Growth: Appears to be improving. New data indicates job growth in higher-paid job categories.
- Residential Real Estate: There has been a significant amount of sales volume. However, home prices are growing modestly.
- Commercial Real Estate: 86 percent of new commercial construction is pre-leased, compared to 50 percent pre-leased at the end of 2014. Office vacancy rates remain at about the same level.
- Bottom Line: Disbursements (projected expenses) are anticipated to outpace revenue growth in next two fiscal years.
- County Budget Information
- Bottom Line: Expenditures are projected to increase by $113.1 million over the FY 2016 approved budget.
- FCPS Budget Documents
- FCPS FY 2017 Budget Overview
Education funding is a priority for our county; more than half of our general fund budget goes to FCPS (52.7 percent or $2+ billion). However, as noted by the Board of Supervisors at its Nov. 17 meeting, since FY 2009, the state has made budget cuts to K-12 education that have cost localities more than $1.7 billion per biennium (two-year budget period). State K-12 funding in FY 2016 remains below the FY 2009 level. These cuts have required our county to fill funding gaps with local revenues in order to maintain a quality public school system.
Public comment on the upcoming 2016 General Assembly session, including budget priorities, will be held by the county’s General Assembly delegation on Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Fairfax County Government Center.
Watch Board of Supervisors Nov. 17 discussion on education funding.
Here is the full outline of how the budget process works between now and when it becomes effective on July 1, 2016 (view text only version).