Fairfax County Budget Increase Cuts Tax Rate, Raises Employee Wages

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Two weeks before the county’s fiscal year 2023 budget is scheduled to pass, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a package of increases that cuts the property tax rate and adds millions for affordable housing and wage increases for county employees.

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Two weeks before the county’s fiscal year 2023 budget is scheduled to pass, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a package of increases that cuts the property tax rate and adds millions for affordable housing and wage increases for county employees.

Council approved a property tax rate reduction of 3 cents, from $1.14 to $1.11 per $100 of assessed value. Initially, County Executive Bryan Hill proposed keep the county tax rate stable at $1.14 per $100 of property assessment, which would have set the average homeowner back $666. Many residents have called for the decrease in public hearings.

In a statement, President Jeffrey McKay said the budget was roughly balanced.

“As Fairfax County residents and property owners ourselves, the council is keenly aware of the impact of increased taxes and has worked diligently to mitigate the effect of significant increases in property assessment.”

For the first time in Fairfax County, council has approved a 15% reduction in personal property assessment. The change was made to cap increases as the value of used vehicles soared to all-time highs during the pandemic.

“We are ensuring the county makes smart financial decisions to support services to our residents while being mindful of the skyrocketing residential assessments and financial hardships that so many people face in our community,” McKay said. .

The amended package also included a 4% wage increase for county employees in an effort to recruit and retain employees. According to the council, eligible public safety employees will receive an additional boost, which could amount to a 14% pay rise when combined with longevity increases.

Recognizing its increased goal of 10,000 affordable housing units by 2034, the council also included an additional $10 million for affordable housing— another issue that residents have championed in public hearings.

“One thing we have learned over the past two years is that we are all in this together, and the more we collaborate, cooperate and take care of each other, the better off we all are. The county is a partner in this process, and this budget proves it,” Mckay said.

The board of directors voted 9 to 1 to approve the mark-up package. A vote on the final budget is scheduled for May 10.

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