Leaders in Fairfax County, Virginia, received the first presentation of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023, and it includes full funding to request schools and a compensation package for staff.
Leaders in Fairfax County, Virginia, received the first presentation of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023, which includes full funding for the school district’s request and a compensation package for staff.
On Tuesday, county chief Brian Hill presented the supervisory board with a budget for the 2023 fiscal year and said he was cautiously optimistic that the county was turning a pandemic and heading for economic recovery.
“This budget reflects our optimism, but also our commitment to smart investments in county priorities, including our workforce,” Hill said in a statement.
The proposal does not include a change in the current tax rate of $ 1.14, but also allocated a balance of $ 80 million to be used at the discretion of the board. The main factor in increasing the fund’s total revenue by 6.83% is the county’s strong real estate market, according to the county news release.
“These incomes have risen because the value of real estate is very high in terms of valuation,” said Jeff McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Supervisory Board. “If values are high, high income.”
An increase in income, however, means a 9.57% equalization rate (a change in property value driven by the market), which would mean an increase in the average property tax of $ 666 at the proposed tax rate.
“Most people in Fairfax County are not interested in moving. And so for those people who aren’t interested in relocating, raising scores as high as we saw last year creates … a lot of extra revenue for counties if we don’t adjust the rate down, ”McKay said.
One of the things the council will do, McKay said, is lower the rate, which he acknowledged will lead to a tax increase for most homeowners in the county. “But it will be less than what was made today in the district government’s proposal.”
The challenge, McKay said, is how to adopt a tax rate that fairly finances county operations, but also provides some tax breaks in sky-high appraisals of residential real estate, which he said is a driving force behind revenue growth in both real estate and personal property.
The proposed budget also funds a $ 2.285 billion request from Fairfax County public schools. This is 52.4% of the total fund expenditures in the budget. Most of the funding will go to the schools’ compensation program.
“Recruitment and maintenance were problems for both schools and the county,” the county said.
“Most people don’t understand when the state says they’re raising teachers’ salaries, they really mean that Fairfax County has to come up with a lot of money to raise teachers ’pay because their biggest share is paid by the county, not the state. So in order to get a small amount of public funding, we need to increase teacher pay, ”McKay said.
Recognizing the problems that district agencies face in recruiting and retaining staff, the council has ordered that budget compensation be given to employees as a matter of priority. Total proposed wages increase by an average of 6.16% for employees without uniforms and 7.86% for employees in uniform.
Other budget items include investment in affordable housing, opioid prevention measures, public safety personnel and a new language access program. You can learn more about the proposed budget on the Fairfax County website.
Meetings of the budget committee will be held in March and April, public hearings – from 12 to 14 April. The meeting of the board to amend the budget is scheduled for April 26, the adoption – on May 10.
Scott Gelman of WTOP contributed to this report.