Fairfax County homeowners will be looking at a 6% increase in taxes if the budget presented by County Executive Ed Long is approved. The $7.45 billion dollar budget calls for spending to increase 4.47% with a $1.88 billion transfer to schools. The proposed budget would result in a 6% increase in real estate taxes – a 26% increase over the last five years.
Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) thinks that’s too much, while school board chair Pat Hynes says the budget represents a “crushing blow” to the school system.
“Another 6% increase in taxes for a combined total of 26% over the last five years is unacceptable. It is past time to make tough decisions,” Herrity said in a prepared statement.
“Today’s budget should come as no surprise, the County Executive has been forecasting it for some time,” Herrity said. “Ten months ago I asked the board to invest additional time over the summer and fall to address potential efficiencies, restructuring, pensions and other ideas to prevent us from once again having to balance the budget on the backs of our taxpayers and employees. That request was defeated on a 7-3 party line vote. Now we have less than two months to address the spending increases or our taxpayers will bear the brunt again.”
But Hynes said that despite calling for a tax increase, Long’s budget “signals no increase to the schools above last year’s budget guidance of 3% while increasing the county’s budget by a greater percentage. This is a crushing blow to the more than 185,000 students who depend on the schools to help shape their future and to the teachers who have experienced year after year of little or no salary increases, often having to shoulder the added expenses of health care and retirement increases.”