Updated March 31
Fairfax County Executive Ed Long presented his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget to the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 14. The proposed General Fund budget is $4.10 billion, a $77.2 million (or 1.9 percent) increase over the current FY 2017 budget. If you include other appropriated funds such as federal and state grants, the total budget is $7.99 billion.
Following this timeline, the Board of Supervisors will now hold public hearings and meetings, make their revisions to the proposed budget, and adopt the FY 2018 budget in May. It then becomes effective on July 1.
Learn more about the budget process:
Here are 5 things you should know about the proposed budget:
The county executive’s proposed budget is balanced at the current real estate tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of assessed value. Last year, the rate was increased 4 cents from $1.09. With the slight increase in the county’s average real estate assessment, the average tax bill will increase $40.69.
The value of 1 cent on the real estate tax rate is $23.75 million in FY 2018.
Update: On Feb. 28, the Board of Supervisors authorized an Advertised Tax Rate of $1.13 for FY 2018, which is unchanged from the current FY 2017 rate.
The recommended transfer to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for operations is $1.97 billion, a 2.70 percent, or $51.69 million increase over the current budget. Including support for school construction and debt service, total transfers to FCPS total $2.17 billion, or 52.8 percent of Long’s proposed budget.
The county is also providing an additional $83.4 million for programs such as Head Start, school health, school resource officers, school crossing guards, behavioral health, after-school programming, field maintenance and recreation programs.
The proposed budget transfer to FCPS is almost $61 million less than the FCPS School Board’s Advertised FY 2018 budget. This difference is approximately equal to a real estate tax rate increase of 2.5 cents.
Still unknown is the amount of state funding that will be available for Fairfax County Public Schools, including teacher salaries. The General Assembly is expected to adopt the state budget at the end of February. Approximately 72 percent of the FCPS budget is funded by county government.
Find Out How Much of Your Real Estate Tax Goes to FCPS
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.
There are several economic indicators and factors that impact our county budget. Current examples include:
- Sequestration and defense spending cuts continue to affect our economy.
- High office vacancy rate in the county – over 20 million square feet is vacant out of 116.4 million; highest vacancy rate since 1991.
- During 2016, the local real estate market underperformed the national real estate market.
- Federal procurement spending in the county is 13.3 percent below the FY 2012 level.
- There is uncertainty about the effect of the new administration on the economy, including impacts such as tax policy, the Affordable Care Act and immigration policy.
- The county is carrying out strategies to grow and diversify our economy, as detailed in our Economic Success Plan.
- We are in Phase 2 of the county’s Lines of Business review of county priorities and improving efficiencies.
- The financial outlook remains strong and the county retains its Triple-A bond rating.
- Sign up to attend a public hearing at the Government Center on the proposed FY 2018 Budget:
- April 4, 4 p.m. (Speaker slots full)
- April 5, 1 p.m.
- April 6, 1 p.m.
- Provide video testimony at the budget public hearings on April 5 or 6.
- Email your feedback and comments to email@example.com through mid-April. (Please note that due to the volume, individual responses will not be possible).
- Get county budget updates via texts or email, including on the Lines of Business process, by subscribing to Fairfax Alerts.
- You can also watch the Board of Supervisors budget committee meetings livestream on Channel 16.
- Ask Fairfax online chat with the county executive was held on Friday, Feb. 24, 3 to 4 p.m. Transcript of chat.
- Town hall meetings took place throughout March.