UPDATE: Board Adopts FY 2021 Budget; No Changes to Trimmed Down Proposal

Update: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the FY 2021 Budget today, Tuesday, May 12. During their markup session a week ago, the board made no changes to the revised FY 2021 Budget County Executive Bryan Hill proposed in early April. The budget maintains the current Real Estate Tax rate of $1.15 per $100 of assessed value.

FY 2021 General Fund disbursements are $4.47 billion, and are supported by General Fund revenues held flat compared to the FY 2020 Adopted Budget Plan. The FY 2021 plan provides for equal growth for school and county budgets, which will both increase by just .32% over the previous year. This results in a $7.3 million Schools Operating Fund transfer increase, significantly less than the $85 million increase proposed in the original budget.

“This budget is certainly not the one we’d hoped to adopt just a few months ago, but it is necessary…it does a good job responding to the difficulties that so many in our community are facing as a result of COVID-19, while maintaining our critical County services and programming.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay

The limited new funding increases in the FY 2021 Budget cover additional positions for the county’s Health Department and School Health programs and increased support for the Consolidated Community Funding Pool. Also included is a $9.84 million appropriated reserve for additional needs related to the pandemic.

Third Quarter Review

The board also approved the FY 2020 Third Quarter Review, which sets aside over $11 million for the county’s response to the pandemic, at Hill’s recommendation. In a memo to the board Hill also noted the county will receive over $200 million in federal funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (Cares) Act Coronavirus Relief Fund. The county is taking steps to maximize federal funding resources to offset impacts from the pandemic. County staff is still working to determine eligible expenses under the federal guidelines.

FY 2021-2022 Budget Guidance

FY 2021-2022 Budget Guidance approved by the board notes that its priorities remain unchanged—affordable housing, the environment, school readiness and education. “The guidance calls for a detailed look at the FY 2021 Budget at mid-year “as we hope to have a clearer picture of the impacts of COVID-19 at that time,” McKay noted. “This will allow the Board to make further adjustments, if necessary, should the answers to some of the unknowns today be answered.”

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