Today, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors marked up the FY2020 Advertised Budget. The $4.4 billion General Fund Budget fully funds the operating budget request from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), increases the employee market rate adjustment (MRA) to 2.1 percent, supports affordable housing and environmental initiatives, addresses the opioid crisis, and funds the fourth year of Diversion First. The Board of Supervisors will vote to formally adopt the budget on May 7, 2019.
“We have made a number of changes to the County Executive’s Advertised Budget,” Chairman Sharon Bulova said. “The real estate tax rate will stay the same at $1.15 per $100 of assessed value to ensure Fairfax County continues to be an affordable place to live for seniors and families. This budget is responsible and balanced and includes $3.5 million in savings, mainly through operational efficiencies.”
Because of increases in the assessed (market) value of property, the average annual real estate tax bill for homeowners in Fairfax County is projected to rise by $149.16.
For the past number of years, Fairfax County has continued to increase the transfers to Schools. Our chief priority has been to ensure competitive teacher salaries. This year, Fairfax County Public Schools will receive $2.35 billion through the School Transfer, which represents 52.8 percent of the County’s General Fund Budget and a 3.82 percent increase ($86.46 million) over FY2019. The Fairfax County School Board has the authority to allocate these funds toward line-item priorities and programs within Fairfax County Public Schools.
The marked up budget includes funding for two staff positions for the new Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination, as well as a Housing Coordinator position for the Department of Housing. As part of Third Quarter Review for FY2019, $5 million will be added to accelerate affordable housing initiatives in Fairfax County. This is in addition to the $10 million already allocated in the FY2020 Advertised Budget.
Looking ahead, the FY2021 budget will pose new challenges. Considering recommendations from the Affordable Housing Resources Panel, reviewing the results of the Police Body Worn Camera Pilot Program, and tackling energy and environment issues through the Joint Environmental Task Force (The JET) are on the horizon throughout the current fiscal year and for a new Board of Supervisors in 2020.