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Supervisors Approve Budget With Tax Hike for Fairfax County Homeowners

by Karen Goff — April 26, 2016 at 1:15 pm 11 Comments

Fairfax County Budget 2017/Courtesy Fairfax CountyThe average Fairfax County homeowner will see a rise of about $300 in his or her annual tax bill next year.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved its $4.01 billion Fiscal Year 2017 budget. The motion passed 7-3, with Supervisors Herrity (Springfield), Linda Smyth (Providence) and John Cook (Braddock) voting against it.

The supervisors’ vote approves a tax increase of 4 cents per $100 of home value, to $1.13. This will provide an additional $93 million to the county annually.

At a budget mark-up session  last week, the supervisors said they would provide an additional $33.6 million to Fairfax County Public Schools. This was done by allocating an entire penny of the tax rate and using reallocated funds from Third Quarter Review, said Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova.

The schools had been facing a budget gap of close to $68 million when budget talks began earlier this year. FCPS Superintendent Karen Garza was seeking a 6-percent increase from last year’s county transfer.

In the end, the amount given to schools, which represents 52 percent of the annual county budget, will be about $2 billion, an $88 million increase (4.8 percent) from 2016

“On behalf of the Fairfax County School Board, I want to express my appreciation for the Board of Supervisors’ support of our budget goals for Fiscal Year 2017,” FCPS Board Chair Pat Hynes (Hunter Mill) said in a statement.

“The county’s FY 2017 operating budget, adopted today by a majority of Supervisors, includes the greatest increase in the transfer to the schools in a decade, and reflects a shared commitment to reinvesting in our great school system.”

The school board will vote on its budget on May 26. Hynes said when the board advertised its budget in January it know it was “very hopeful” and that the board needed the funds to “turn the corner after eight years of austerity and begin reinvesting in our great schools.”

“It proposed a basic raise for all employees, a $40 million investment to move teacher salaries closer to market average, new lower caps on elementary class size, and no more cuts to an already strained school system,” she said.

“With today’s vote, the Board of Supervisors joins us in that commitment.,” said Hynes. “We look forward to continuing, deeper collaboration as both boards plan for future needs and challenges, beginning with support for a more diverse and stable revenue base. Continued over-reliance on homeowners’ property taxes is not sustainable.”

Bulova said she gives each annual budget a nickname. This year’s plan is called “a booster shot to ensure our quality of life in Fairfax County,” she said.

“It does infuse additional dollars into our county and especially the school budget,” she said. “This transfer will allow schools to move forward with class size, teacher compensation.”

  • WhoIsJohnGalt

    Anything to pay for those ESL lessons, right?

  • Ming the Merciless

    Countdown to next year’s “we’re broke and we’re cancelling all your favorite programs” FCPS announcement, 5… 4… 3… 2…

    • Greg

      It’s not sustainable — those who pay will leave and those who take will demand ever more.

      • Nyla J.

        Yep. Why should we stick around and pay more and more for schools that have ever decreasing ratings?

        • Greg

          That was the grand bargain they made. Pay a bit more in taxes and your property values will increase far more than the taxes. And, the schools will get better too. Neither have happened. House value has been the same, or lower, for a decade (but taxes still go up each year), and the schools are declining. Same bargain as was made with the toll road — once it was paid for, it was to be forever free. It’s been paid for many times now, and the tolls are higher than ever.

    • TBird73

      Look on Facebook. It has already started on pages that magically appeared two weeks ago in support of a meals tax. Using FCPS stock photos and county graphics, yet they deny any connection to the schools and, laughingly, call themselves “grassroots”. Clearly from Hynes’s statement, that will be their big push this year.

  • Lakedweller

    Time for some forensic accounting, starting with FCPS and a little company called Cenergistic…

  • Max

    I love that the library and parks get a measly 1.3 percent of the budget, yet when they FINALLY give us a raise we get to pay more in taxes to fund the school that every year complains they don’t have enough money. Try making the parents pay for the ESL programs their kids need and watch them come out in droves to complain we need to pay even more taxes to help!

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