Fairfax adopts $4.4 billion budget, maintains tax rate

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today voted unanimously to adopt the a $4.4 billion budget that keeps the real estate tax rate at $1.15 per $100 of assessed value and includes $3.5 million in savings.

“This is a responsible and balanced budget,” Chairman Sharon Bulova said. “Investments and improvements to our local economy over the years made it possible for our board to keep a flat tax rate, while at the same time, fully funding the budget request from the schools and boosting the market rate adjustment for Fairfax County employees.”

Some highlights of the FY2020 budget include:

  • Fully funding the Fairfax County Public Schools budget request, which will help increase teacher salaries;
  • Increasing the employee market rate adjustment (MRA) from 1% to 2.1%, which adjusts the minimum wage from $14.83 to $15.14 for county employees;
  • Addressing the opioid crisis;
  • Funding the fourth year of Diversion First;
  • Including funding for two new staff positions for the new Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination, as well as a Housing Coordinator position for the Department of Housing;
  • As part of Third Quarter Review for FY2019, $5 million will be added to accelerate affordable housing initiatives in Fairfax County. This is in addition to the $10 million already allocated in the FY2020 Advertised Budget, and the more than $140 million from all sources including state and federal funds.

“This is my last vote to adopt the Fairfax County General Fund Budget, and this is a budget that I’m proud of,” Bulova said. “I want to thank my colleagues and county staff, including Budget Chairman Jeff McKay, County Executive Bryan Hill, and Chief Financial Officer Joe Mondoro, for their level of engagement and commitment that is demonstrated in the budget process, and the final product we have before us.”

Looking ahead, the FY2021 budget will pose new challenges and new opportunities, including:

  • Implementing the new Countywide Strategic Plan;
  • Considering a funding plan that moves recommendations forward from the Affordable Housing Resources Panel;
  • Reviewing the results of the Police Body Worn Camera Pilot Program;
  • Tackling energy and environment issues through the Energy and Climate Action Plan and, in collaboration with our Schools, through The Joint Environmental Task Force (The JET).

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.