Updated April 26
The Board of Supervisors voted today to approve the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget.
This budget becomes effective on July 1, 2016. In February, County Executive Ed Long presented his proposed budget and after two months of public input and meetings, the Board made their changes to the budget.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Board voted for a real estate tax rate increase based on community input for increased funding for schools, public safety and human services. The rate is increasing four cents from $1.09 to $1.13, per $100 of the assessed value of your home.
Homeowners on average will pay an additional $304 in their real estate taxes next year. To view your current real estate tax amount (for most of us it is paid for through our mortgage company), go to MyFairfax Web Portal.
The real estate tax increase will generate an additional $93 million for the county next year.
The Board of Supervisors voted to provide an additional $33.6 million in funding to our Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) above the amount in the county executive’s proposed budget.
Funding for FCPS will increase more than 5 percent increase over the FY 2016 budget.
FCPS will receive 52.7 percent of the county’s $4.01 billion General Fund budget, which equals $2.12 billion. The increase is possible due to a portion (one cent) of the real estate tax rate increase, as well as funds that were available through a reallocation from the third quarter review of the current FY 2016 budget.
Additional county support of FCPS such as school crossing guards, school resource officers and the school health program totals $85 million and when combined with the funding mentioned above brings FCPS support to 54.9 percent of the county’s General Fund Budget.
The Board of Supervisors also worked closely with the Virginia General Assembly during its 2016 session, which increased funding to FCPS by $16.8 million.
$7.5 million was approved to be used to fund recommendations by the Ad-Hoc Police Practices Review Commission. This includes:
- $3.89 million and 19 positions for the Diversion First program, a collaborative effort to reduce the number of people with mental illness in the county jail.
- $1.2 million to fund 15 percent salary supplements for eligible General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court staff, as well as increases for the Office of the Public Defender to raise their salaries to a level consistent with their counterparts in the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
- The remaining $2.41 million will be held in reserve and is expected to be used as part of the estimated $35 million multi-year cost of the recommendations from the Ad-Hoc Police Practices Review Commission.
Reductions were made from the current FY 2016 budget totaling $13.63 million, as well as 17 fewer positions. Among the reductions:
- $10 million due to the implementation of an Employer Group Waiver Plan for Medicare retiree prescription drug coverage.
- $3 million based on ongoing analysis of current county fuel costs and usage.
- $0.20 million based on efficiencies generated through the telecommunication billing process.
- $.015 million savings generated from annual review of flexibility in General Fund agencies as a result of existing staffing and salary levels.
The Board of Supervisors and county staff will continue the multi-year Lines of Business process to identify more opportunities for budget cuts and efficiencies.
The county’s budget is a year-round process. There are a number of ways for you to stay informed and engaged: