3-Cent Real Estate Tax Increase In Approved Fairfax County Budget

The Board of Supervisors approved a budget with a higher real estate tax rate, more funding for FCPS and employee pay increases.

This article appeared here first in the Patch.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA — The real estate tax rate will go up three cents in the budget approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The $1.125 per $100 of assessed value is an increase from the current rate of $1.095 per $100 of assessed value. The county said the average residential tax bill will increase by about $450. The three-cent increase is lower than the four-cent increase in the original budget proposal by County Executive Bryan Hill.

The Board of Supervisors approved final details in the budget markup in late April before final approval of the fiscal year 2025 budget Tuesday.

“With the current strains on the County’s Real Estate market, particularly for our commercial properties, the Board recognizes the resulting revenue constraints that impacted the FY 2025 budget,” the board’s budget markup package stated. “With limited options for revenue generation available, as we continue to operate under the state’s outdated tax system, changes to the Real Estate Tax rate are the only significant lever that the County has to generate the resources necessary to meet our needs.”

Along with setting tax rates, the budget provided a 6.8 percent increase — $165 million — more to Fairfax County Public Schools’ operating budget. That is $89 million less than the $254 million increase FCPS requested from the county. Board members were hesitant to approve the full FCPS increase due to the impact on taxpayers and a hope that state funding could help with the teacher compensation priority.

The county budget also gives pay increases between 3.25 percent and 6 percent to county employees, which includes a 2 percent market rate adjustment. Nearly 1,200 employees will receive an additional 5 percent pay increase due to annual benchmark reviews. Collective bargaining agreements with public safety employees also account for increases in the budget. Sheriff’s office employees, not represented in the collective bargaining process, will get merit and longevity increases in addition to market rate adjustments.

The tax increase had been proposed in light of the real estate assessment impacts, particularly less commercial real estate tax revenue, as well as global impacts on the local economy, collective bargaining agreements, ongoing efforts to increase county employee pay and funding for Metro.

“The FY2025 Budget is a sound and responsible budget that maintains our core services, invests in the people who provide them, and prepares the county for future, manageable growth without new major programmatic spending,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay. “We must continue to compete for the best and brightest in this employees’ market in order to deliver the high quality, core services our residents rely on.”

The county believes next year’s budget will be another challenge due to requirements for collective bargaining agreements. County officials continue to seek more local taxing authority from the state to provide more revenue options than real estate tax revenue.

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