UPDATE: On Tuesday, May 4, the Board of Supervisors adopted the FY 2022 Budget, which incorporates changes reflected in the approved mark-up package outlined below. The Board also set the FY 2022 Real Estate Tax Rate at $1.14, a one-cent reduction from FY 2021.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the FY 2022 Advertised Budget mark-up package during its meeting on Tuesday, April 27 including the addition of a 1% pay increase for county employees, $15 million more for the Fairfax County Public Schools Operating Fund transfer to support compensation increases for FCPS employees, and funding to provide salary supplements for state employees, including Office of the Public Defender support staff and probation and parole officers. The budget maintains the one-cent tax rate reduction proposed in the original FY 2022 Advertised Budget Plan, down from $1.15 in FY 2021 to $1.14 in FY 2022.
Higher Revenue, Reserve Fund Help Balance Budget
The additional expenditures are offset by net revenue adjustments, including higher than expected Business, Professional and Occupational License revenue, and use of the $20 million Economic Recovery Reserve, resulting in a balanced FY 2022 Budget.
“Members of our Fairfax County community have struggled due to a loss of income during the pandemic,” said Board Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “This budget, along with the aid expected from the American Rescue Plan, provides needed resources and services, especially to our most vulnerable, and recognizes the rising real estate values many are experiencing from skyrocketing property assessments. While this was a difficult budget year, I’m proud of the balance we were able to accomplish.”
With additional resources required to staff the planned opening of new facilities, support necessary to continue initiatives such as the Diversion First program and Opioid Task Force, and baseline funding needed to support the Body Worn Camera program and pandemic response efforts, the proposed budget includes several adjustments that allow the county to move forward on community priorities.
Budget Guidance for FY 2022 and 2023
The board also provided Budget Guidance for FY 2022 and FY 2023 that addresses:
- Funding for FCPS - Which should increase equally with county disbursements and include opportunities for collaboration between the county and schools.
- The Countywide Strategic Plan, on which the board stressed the need for appropriate feedback opportunities for the community. Board action on the plan is scheduled for October.
- Employee Pay – Staff was directed to return to the Board if an opportunity becomes available for an additional one-time bonus in FY 2022, either through county or federal stimulus funds. The guidance also described full compensation program funding for FY 2023 as “imperative.”
- Affordable Housing – The County Executive was directed to set aside the equivalent of at least one-half cent on the Real Estate Tax rate (in addition to the current half-penny) for the next two fiscal years – through county dollars or through the maximization of federal stimulus funds, where possible – to address preservation and development goals for affordable housing. The Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force established in July 2020, identified three preservation goals and the County Executive has been directed to return to the board this fall with a plan to implement those goals, including appropriate resources in FY 2022 and FY 2023.
- Trust Policy – The County Executive was directed to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure that the county is a welcoming community for immigrants, including the establishment of a position as the county’s first Immigrant Community Liaison.
The guidance also addresses tax relief, environmental and energy initiatives, Celebrate Fairfax and the use of stimulus funding.
The FY 2022 Budget is scheduled for adoption on Tuesday, May 4.