If you pay real estate taxes in Fairfax County, it may be difficult to understand how your tax money is being spent – most of us don’t think in terms of billions or millions of dollars. You want to know how much you are paying for our public schools, public safety and other government services provided by our county.
To provide taxpayers with more transparency, we have developed the Real Estate Tax Calculator to help you see where your dollars are going, based on your own real estate assessment for the current budget year.
Using the 2017 countywide average assessment for all homes, which is $533,168, here is how the calculator works:
1. Type in your address, or your assessment amount and click on the submit button.
2. You will see a chart that shows some of the amounts that appear on your real estate tax assessment. The red arrow shown here indicates how much you pay in real estate taxes, which is further broken down in the charts and graphs below.
3. Scroll down and you will see a pie chart that illustrates where your real estate tax dollars go. Please note this chart is illustrative – amounts are based on the percentage of disbursements from the general fund budget. Some county services are paid for with additional funding sources other than real estate taxes.
4. Underneath the pie chart, there is a listing of where your real estate tax dollars go, including type, percentage and amount. Each listing also has a hyperlink for additional information.
Real estate taxes account for almost 65 percent of the county’s General Fund budget. That equals $2.6 billion of the almost $4.1 billion our current FY 2017 General Fund budget (adopted by the Board of Supervisors last year). The rest of the General Fund Revenue comes from the Personal Property (car) Tax, business taxes, sales tax, fees, etc.
This educational tool helps illustrate where tax dollars go to meet the priorities set by the Board of Supervisors and the community for county programs and services. Certain fees, including those for community centers, solid waste fees and service district fees, are not included in this simulation tool since they do not impact all taxpayers.