School Funding

Fairfax Co. cuts property tax rate and increases funding for schools to weather the funk pandemic


The Fairfax County Supervisory Board has adopted a $ 4.5 billion spending plan for fiscal 2022 that lowers the residential property tax rate, while increasing spending on public schools and affordable housing.

Fairfax County’s newly passed budget aims to help Virginia County residents overcome the year-long economic dark clouds that arrived with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fairfax County Supervisory Board on Tuesday adopted a $ 4.5 billion spending plan for fiscal 2022 that lowers the residential property tax rate, while increasing spending on public schools and housing affordable. At the same time, he gives more support to the county public defender’s office.

Board chairman Jeff McKay said he was “extremely proud” of the budget.

“In order to relieve all residents of Fairfax County, especially as we recover from the pandemic, we need to invest in the community and the programs that make everyone healthier, safer and more efficient,” said McKay in a statement.

The challenges of Fairfax County, as the state’s most populous jurisdiction, are not unique, particularly in the northern part of the state, where unemployment linked to the pandemic has prompted local lawmakers to seek remedies. ways to support anxious residents.

The budget shaves a dime off the residential property tax rate to $ 1.14 per 100 of assessed value.

However, McKay is realistic about the modest effect the reduction will have on what homeowners pay.

“With real estate appraisals on the rise, however, that means increased taxes in some cases and decreases in others, depending on the value of your property,” McKay said.

Fairfax County has over 334,000 residential properties. Of these, 88% saw their assessed value increase, while 4.4% saw a decrease, according to a February Budget Presentation.

Neighboring counties of Prince William and Loudoun both lowered their tax rates – Prince William by a dime, Loudoun by a whopping 5 1/2 cents, while neighboring Arlington County has kept its property tax rate stable.

With regional housing costs so high, the new budget recommends spending half a cent on affordable housing, which would amount to more than $ 13 million to create and preserve housing opportunities.

“Since the start of last fiscal year, Fairfax County has approved or closed funding for over 1,000 new affordable housing units in Fairfax County and has adjusted our zoning ordinance to be more flexible to provide new housing options. McKay said.

As part of the budget, county employees will receive a 1% pay rise and a one-time bonus – $ 1,000 for merit employees and $ 500 for others.

Fairfax County public schools, which receive more than 50% of the county’s budget, will receive an additional $ 29.34 million, said McKay, who will fund a 2% salary increase for FCPS employees.

The budget provides more money to support the county public defender’s office, as well as the Trust policy, to “improve county policy and community confidence, privacy, health, welfare and security” for the immigrant community.

“My goal was to strike a balance in lowering the tax rate, with understanding the skyrocketing property assessments, while supporting our county staff and teachers and advancing our education priorities. , affordable housing, environmental protection and community resources. I’m glad we were able to achieve this, ”McKay said.

Supervisor Pat Herrity, the only Republican on the board, had sought to reduce the tax rate by three cents and was the dissenting vote in the 9-1 tally.


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