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Fairfax County Tax and Budget Issues

Fairfax Co Tax and Budget Issues...   (Here's the Fairfax Co Budget Calendar)

2017-12-18: WaPo: Gov McAuliffe proposes higher taxes in NoVa to support Metro - R. McCartney
Northern Virginians would pay higher taxes on real estate sales, hotel stays and wholesale gasoline to provide Metro with long-sought dedicated funding under a proposal to be announced Monday by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). The new tax revenue of $65 million a year would be in addition to $85 million that Northern Virginia already earmarks for Metro.

2017-07-20: FCTA: Resolution to fund Metrorail without tax increases, by Arthur Purves
Resolved, that FCTA: 1) urges the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to oppose all tax increases for WMATA; 2) urges the Supervisors to instead recommend funding Metrorail capital needs from rail system tax revenues; 3) urges the General Assembly to allow transportation taxes to be used for capital costs as well as new construction; and 4) urges WMATA to declare bankruptcy if capital needs cannot be funded without yet another tax hike.

2017-05-01: FxCo: FY2018 Adopted Budget Package

2017-04-12: Sun Gazette: Fx budget hearing brings usual back-and-forth, by Brian Trompeter
The Fairfax Co public budget hearings on April 4-6 got the usual pleas from education backers, but also from residents seeking fiscal restraint. Jim Parmelee held up a No-Meals-Tax campaign sign used in last fall's referendum defeat. And Joe Connor recalled former FCPS Superintendent Karen Garza stating that "school officials had nothing else to cut except services to the students".

2017-04-06: FCTA: Fairfax County needs to Fix its Pension Problem, by Charles McAndrew
The pensions in Fairfax County are currently unsustainable. The county needs to raise the retirement age and adopt something similar to the Federal Government's "FERS" pension plan.

2017-04-04: FCTA's Arthur Purves' Presentation to Fx Co Supervisors

2017-03-23: Connection: MCA Casts 'Painful' Outlook for County's Budget, by Fallon Forbush
The McLean Citizens Association hosted a meeting to discuss the county's $4.10 billion advertised budget at the McLean Community Center on March 16. There was a lot of moaning and groaning from Fairfax County and school representatives.

2017-03-17: WT: Fairfax County budget notice advertisement -- Takes up all of page 2

2017-02-29: WJLA: Fairfax County questioned in $7 Million land deal, by Chris Papst
Finances are tight in Fairfax County. Some worry its credit rating may fall, and taxes may be increased. The county needs money, but that didn't stop its supervisors from recently approving a $7 million land deal with a big-time political contributor.

2017-02-26: FCTA: Email to FCRC, Fairfax GOP BOS discussing tax increases, by Arthur Purves
Republicans have campaigned for tax cuts and against Obamacare. However now that they're in position to do both, we're told they have no plan on how to do either. It is only two years before the next supervisors election. Now is the time to build public support for tax cuts. Waiting until September 2019 is too late.

2017-02-15: WTOP: Metro costs could bog down budgets for schools, police, by Max Smith
Schools, roads, public safety and other key budget needs could be squeezed out by ballooning needs at Metro after years of neglect, Nothern Virginia leaders were warned Tuesday. Fairfax County expects to contribute $61 million in capital funds and $20 million in operating money for the coming fiscal year's Metro budget.

2017-02-14: WaPo: Fairfax Co trims budget requests as revenues stay tepid, by Antonio Olivo
Fairfax County Executive Edward L. Long Jr. on Tuesday proposed a 2018 budget that would give county schools $61 million less than they are seeking, one of several hard choices he said the wealthy suburb must make as it struggles with tepid revenue and a public rejection of tax hikes.

2017-02-14: Sun Gazette: Fairfax RE tax bills up $40 in budget proposal, by Brain Trompeter
Proposal by county executive leaves school system $60 million short of what it seeks.

2017-02-14: FCTA: FY 2018 Budget Meeting by Ed Long, by Charles McAndrew
Homeowners: The current rate of the Real Estate tax will remain at $1.13 per $100 of assessed value (but the average assessed value will go up). The average real estate tax bill will increase approximately $40 for the homeowner.

2017-02-06: FCTA: Real estate taxes could increase 12% this year, by Tom Cranmer
FCTA's Tom Cranmer estimates that the Fairfax County real estate tax rate could go up 12% this year, after factoring in additional Metro subsidies, loss of Federal funding due to Fairfax's sanctuary county status, and increased funding demanded by the school system.

2017-01-29: Connection: Fairfax County Budget Breakdown
More than 50 percent of Fairfax County's $3.988 billion budget will be transferred to Fairfax County Public Schools, $68 million less than FCPS requested.

2016-12-01: Sun Gazette: Budget-bleating season begins anew in Fairfax County -- Editorial
It may be wishful thinking, but perhaps the supervisors were chastened enough by the overwhelming opposition to the meals-tax proposal that they will "suggest" that the School Board dust off last year's discarded task-force report on projected cuts, and start implementing them.

2016-11-22: FxCo: County budget forecasts underscore revenue challenges for FY 2018
The county projects only $74 million in additional revenue in FY 2018 (begins July 1, 2017) to cover:
-- $90 million in county funding priorities, not including many significant items.
-- $134 million in FCPS disbursement requirements (funding needs).

2016-11-09: Sun Gazette: Fairfax electorate again rejects a meals tax, by Brian Trompeter
Stick a fork in it. Fairfax County's proposed meals tax is done. Twenty-four years after the last time they rejected a meals-tax referendum, Fairfax County voters on Nov. 8 sent a similar proposal back to the kitchen uneaten. The proposal, the most contentious local item on the ballot, went down to defeat in all nine county magisterial districts.

2016-11-08: FCTA: Four reasons to vote AGAINST the Fairfax County meals tax, by Arthur Purves
1) You cannot trust Fairfax County; 2) Residential real estate taxes are increasing faster than household income; 3) Even with a meals tax, taxes will continue increasing faster than household income; 4) The Board of Supervisors and School Board are ignoring the causes of tax increases.

2016-10-25: WT: Fairfax County is trying again to impose a 'meals tax' -- Vote NO on Nov 8

2016-10-12: Sun Gazette: Vote down the Fairfax meals tax ... AGAIN! -- Editorial
The meals tax is another case of Fairfax County elected officials with sticky fingers, ready to use local residents as an ATM to fund a county government that too often must be reminded that power flows up from the people, not down from the Government Center. Fairfax residents rejected a meals-tax referendum in 1992; they should do so again.

2016-10-06: Fx Free Citizen: The Meals Tax: A Band-Aid, Not a Solution, by Arthur Purves
You have probably received the Fairfax County pamphlet "2016 Meals Tax Referendum: It's Your Decision". It was printed and mailed to 400,000 Fairfax County households at taxpayer expense. The pamphlet misleads voters into believing that the meals tax will result in lower real estate tax hikes. ...

2016-09-23: Texas' pile of debt, and shadowy bond votes, by Kenric Ward
"Alarming levels" of local government debt are nudging Texas lawmakers to bring more transparency and accountability to bond elections. Much of the debt has been piled on by taxpayers who vote for bond issue after bond issue. (Gee, that sounds awfully familiar!)

2016-09-22: Sun Gazette: Vienna could up meals tax to pay for parking garage, by B. Trompeter
Vienna Town Council members at a Sept. 19 work session discussed the possibility of increasing the tax from 3 percent to 4 percent -- on top of the 6-percent state sales tax -- to finance a future parking structure. The tax hike would end after a specific period unless town officials kept it in place permanently to pay for other projects.

2016-09-02: FxCo: Public Hearing on Supplemental Funds Appropriation
Posted as part of "FY 2016 Carryover Budget Package". A quick summary (WT ad#14904116, 9/02, 9/09):

FY 2017 Current Approved Budget Plan . . . . . . . . $7,471,661,174
FY 2017 Proposed Increase (27.69%) . . . . . . . . $2,069,172,164
. . Proposed Funding Increase . . . $1,782,361,466
. . Additional Funding Adjustments . $286,810,698
FY 2017 Proposed Total Expenditures . . . . . . . . . $9,540,833,338

2016-06-23: Reston Now: Special Reston Transportation District Tax Options Taking Shape
The Fairfax Co Dept of Transportation is still considering a special tax to fund $2.6 billion in transportation improvements in the Reston area in coming years. Two ideas include $0.03/$100 of assessed values for commercial and industrial properties in Reston transit station areas or a service district of $0.015/$100 for all properties in Reston transit station areas.

2016-06-21: Montgomery Co: Individual and Business Tax Burdens in Local Jurisdictions
This report analyzes and compares the tax burden for individuals living in and businesses based in Montgomery County (MD), Fairfax County (VA), The District of Columbia, Prince George's County (MD), Howard County (MD), and Frederick County (MD).

2016-06-08: Sun Gazette: Be More Creative Than Imposing a Meals Tax, by Sam Lowenstein
Perhaps a better way to diversify the revenue base of the county is to have a special tax on new automobiles bought for teenagers. After all, folks in Northern Virginia can live without eating out, but who can deny their kid a new Beemer?

2016-06-07: FxCo: Supervisors approve 4% Meals Tax referendum for Nov election ballot
Estimated $99 million in revenue. Allegedly, schools would get 70% and County Services, Capital Improvements and Property Tax Relief would get 30%. (But of course the real purpose is to improve county Pensions and Benefits. Wonder what they'll come up with to tax in 2017.)

2016-05-19: Reston Now: Transportation Tax District Wouldn't Include All of Reston
Fairfax County Department of Transportation officials want to create a special tax district to fund about $2.6 billion in transportation improvements in Reston. At a community meeting Wednesday, these officials said the idea is still on the table -- but only for residents and businesses in developments within the Reston's transit area.

2016-05-18: FCTA: Time for Fairfax Supervisors to Recognize Metro Costs, by Thomas Cranmer
Fairfax County's proposed budget this year had a deficit of nearly $100 million. The deficit next year is likely to be similar. So for next year add $100 million plus the extra Metro subsidy of $226 million, Fairfax would have a deficit of over $300 million. This is huge.

2016-05-10: WaPo: Fx Co may put meals tax on Nov. ballot June 7, by Patricia Sullivan
The Board of Supervisors has agreed to vote June 7 on whether to place a proposal on the general-election ballot to levy a 4 percent meals tax on all prepared foods and drinks -- from meals served at sit-down restaurants to takeout grub at grocery stores, fast-food franchises and cafes. (How will they tax us next year!?)

2016-05-03: Fx Free Citizen: Fx Co 2017 Budget, Meals Tax, and Spending, by Pat Herrity
Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield District) expresses his thoughts on the county's perennial 'Groundhog Day' budgeting process, loss of the commercial tax base, pension costs, the upcoming 4% meals tax proposal, and the county's inability to control spending.

2016-04-xx: FCTA: Budget in 1971 - Fx Co $294.5M, FCPS $79.7M -- Blast from the past

2016-04-25: FxCo: FY2017 Adopted Budget Package

2016-04-20: Reston 20/20: Details on the Proposed Reston Transportation Tax District
Who benefits from the new Reston transportation tax? The short answer is that Reston residents would have an added tax burden with no discernible benefit while landowners' for-profit development is subsidized by homeowner taxes and the County has a new tax revenue stream.

2016-04-18: Reston Now: New Reston tax service district is bad idea, OpEd by Terry Maynard
You thought your current real estate taxes are high? Restonians are once again faced with the prospect of the burden of an added local "tax service district" that could add hundreds of dollars to their annual property tax bill every year. (Virginia has allowed Fx Co to do this without a referendum.)

2016-04-08: Fx Times: Local restaurateurs pan idea of Fx Co meals tax -- letter
Now that elections are over, some Fairfax County Supervisors are looking again at a 4% meals tax referendum in the fall. (The last one in 1992 was defeated.) Three local restaurateurs explain why this would be a bad idea.

2016-04-06: Sun Gazette: Water, sewer rates to rise in Vienna, by Brian Trompeter
The Vienna Town Council voted 6-1 April 4 to approve proposed water-and-sewer rate increases for fiscal year 2017. A 66-cent hike per 1,000 gallons will raise the average homeowner's quarterly water-and-sewer bill by about $11, beginning May 23.

2016-04-05: FCTA Presentation to BOS on Real Estate Tax Increases and County Budget
FCTA Board Member Charles McAndrew and wife Linda address the Board Of Supervisors.

2016-04-05: FCTA's Tom Cranmer's Tax Comments to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

2016-04-05: FCTA's Arthur Purves' Presentation to Fx Co Supervisors

2016-03-23: FCTA: Fairfax Co budget townhall meeting in Springfield, by Charles McAndrew
County Exec Ed Long proposed a 4.8% budget increase. Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) talked about FCPS' second pension plan added in 2001, and Fairfax County's underfunding of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). Herrity was the only supervisor to declare he would not vote for ANY tax increase.

2016-03-22: FCTA: Vienna proposes a 2.05% real estate tax increase
A "Notice of Public Hearing for Proposed Budget for FY2016-17 (scheduled for April 4) was published on page B5 of the Washington Times on 03/22/2014 and 03/29/2014. But unlike the Fairfax County notice, which states outright that it "proposes to increase property tax levies", Vienna's notice makes no such mention.

2016-03-14: Sun Gazette: Proposed Vienna budget holds tax rate steady, by Brian Trompeter
Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton's proposed $33.8 million FY2017 budget would maintain the current real-estate tax rate of 22.5 cents per $100 assessed valuation, increase overall spending by 1.9% and give town employees 2.9% pay raises. Higher assessments will increase the average property owner's bill by 2%, to $1,564. Water-and-sewer rates will also be raised slightly.

2016-03-10: Connection: Fairfax County 2016 Assessments by Area

2016-03-09: Sun Gazette: Some Fairfax supervisors too tax-happy -- OpEd
Once again, Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) proved one of the few fiscally sane members of the board, pointing out that some of her constituents are set to be hit with a double whammy: higher overall real-estate taxes and a higher surcharge for living in Tysons Corner.

2016-03-07: Fairfax chasing taxpaying residents out of the County
Fairfax County taxpayers cannot afford Cadillac health plans, pensions, and annual 3.5%-4% raises for 34,000 county and school employees. Also of the 24,000 school employees, only 9,000 are regular classroom teachers.

2016-03-03: FCTA: Fairfax County Notice of Proposed Real Property Tax Increase
First public posting, one half of page A9 in the Washington Times. Includes an average increase of 1.64 percent for residential and an increase of 2.87 percent for non-residential real estate. Public hearing April 5, 2016 at the Gov't Center.

2016-03-02: Reston Now: Fairfax Supervisors Have Food Fight Over Tax Hike, by Karen Goff
Hours after passing a motion for an advertised 4-cent hike in real estate taxes for FY2017, some members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors asked for a practically unprecedented do-over. That led to a tense discussion and vote to reconsider at the end of Tuesday's seven-hour Board of Supervisor’s meeting -- as well as a supervisors' shouting match after the meeting adjourned.

2016-03-01: Sun Gazette: Homeowners to get 4-cent Fairfax tax increase, by Brian Trompeter
After swatting down two proposals for even higher rates, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 7-3 March 1 to advertise a real estate tax rate of $1.13 per $100 assessed value for the county's fiscal year 2017 budget, a 4-cent increase over the current rate.

2016-02-25: FxCo: FY2017 Budget Chat with County Executive Ed Long

2016-02-20: Fairfax County's Gold-Plated FY2017 Budget -- Also in PDF: Color and B&W
How can taxpayers afford Fairfax County and School employees' Cadillac health plans, pensions with retirement at 55, and 3.5% annual raises?

2016-02-20: FCTA: Fairfax Co budget townhall meeting in Vienna, by Charles McAndrew
County Exec Ed Long proposed a 4% budget increase, which would cover some of the FCPS budget gap; Cathy Hudgins wants to reintroduce a 4% MEALS TAX referendum; and most attendees (from Reston, Vienna, Herndon) supported both measures. During Q, it was noted that the $120M 2010 "Transportation" bond funds mysteriously disappeared, while 85% of the $100M 2015 bond funds are for bikes and sidewalks.

2016-02-16: Reston Now: Fx Co proposed budget: Higher taxes, less for schools, by Karen Goff
Fairfax Co Executive Ed Long presented a proposed $3.99 billion budget Tuesday to the county Board of Supervisors that includes a real estate tax increase of 4 cents (to $1.13) for every $100 of value for Fairfax County homeowners. FCPS, meanwhile, will not get its requested 6.7% increase.

2015-11-24: WaPo: Fairfax school, county officials meet, talk budget cuts, by Antonio Olivio
Fairfax County is projecting a budget shortfall of as much as $85 million for fiscal 2017, and the school system is facing a budget gap of $60.6 million. The budget gap in part reflects the ongoing effects of about $2.6 billion in federal spending cuts in the region since 2012... (Not to mention the continued wasteful spending by those same school and county officials.)

2015-11-18: Sun Gazette: Fairfax gov't, schools have too much cash -- letter, by Bill Frazer
The average compounded inflation rate from 1987 to 2015 was 2.65%. The average compounded increase in my property taxes from 1987 to 2015 was 5.25%. That means that the amount of taxes being paid to Fairfax County has increased at almost double the rate of inflation since 1987.

2015-11-05: WaPo: Safely reelected, Chairman Bulova reconsiders meals tax, by Antonio Olivo
It's Baaaack!!! In June 2014, Fairfax Co Chairman Sharon Bulova decided the proposed 4 percent meals tax referendum would not be acceptable to voters in 2014 (due in no small part to efforts by FCTA president Arthur Purves). So she shelved the proposal until after the 2016 election. Well that time has come... Caveat emptor!

2015-11-03: FCTA: 2015 Fx Co Board-Of-Supervisors Election Winners, by David Swink

2015-10-14: Connection: Stark Differences for Fx Co Chairman: Bulova vs Purves, by Ken Moore
Anti-taxer Arthur Purves challenged incumbent Chairman Sharon Bulova at the Great Falls debate on Sept 29. Bulova said the county is balanced between taxes and services, and praised Metro's Silver line. Purves countered that the county is losing ground economically, taxes are too high, and the VDOT's upcoming I-66 proposals are excessive and will not improve traffic conditions.

2015-09-10: WAMU: Big Burden On Region's Taxpayers Forecasted In Metro Budget Proposal
"Given current trends, this subsidy growth appears likely to continue if no changes are made, but some jurisdictional representatives have been clear that large year-over-year funding increases to Metro cannot be supported," according to the budget analysis.

2015-09-04: FxCo: Public Hearing on Supplemental Funds Appropriation
Posted as part of "FY 2015 Carryover Budget Package". A quick summary (WT ad#14845824, 9/04, 9/11):

FY 2016 Current Approved Budget Plan . . . . . . . . $7,129,871,629
FY 2016 Proposed Increase (23.02%) . . . . . . . . $1,641,191,350
. . Proposed Funding Increase . . . $1,468,642,831
. . Additional Funding Adjustments . $172,548,519
FY 2016 Proposed Total Expenditures . . . . . . . . . $8,771,062,979

2015-07-22: WT: Prince George's spending problem a warning to other counties, by David Keene
There are no doubt countless other county bureaucrats running around "doing their jobs," and not one of them is costing enough to break the county, but together they are a sign of a governmental inability to prioritize or budget effectively. So no matter how much money government raises at any level, it seems incapable for lack of funds of fulfilling its core mission.

2015-07-07: Connection: Frey gives his final "State of Sully" address, by Bonnie Hobbs
In a speech on June 24, retiring Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) mentioned that the county could sell bonds to raise money for projects, but "we have to have a balanced budget. Interest payments can't exceed 10% of the General Fund; we're hovering around 9% now. Our General Fund budget is $3.8 billion, so we could pay debt payments of about $380 million a year."

2015-06-30: Fx Ti404: Next year's budget shortfall deserves attention today, by Pat Herrity
Fairfax County is forecasting a $100 million shortfall for next fiscal year and the school system is forecasting their own $100 million shortfall as well. One would think that the Board of Supervisors and the School Board would begin addressing the shortfall today while we have time to review our very complex organizations and budgets. Not so!

2015-05-28: Fx Ti404: School Board approves $2.6 billion budget, by Kate Yanchulis
The board voted 10-2 at its meeting last Thursday night to pass a $2.6 billion fiscal 2016 budget that avoids major cuts and includes funding for later high school start times and 3 percent pay raises for most employees. But the cash-strapped school system is already looking toward the next round of the budget cycle.

2015-05-13: Fx Ti404: FCPS education officials seek to finalize budget, by Kate Yanchulis
School officials asked for a 3.99 percent increase in funding from the county, $70.6 million more than last year. The county last month approved an increase of $56.7 million, about $14 million short. While state-level budget adjustments make up for part of the deficit, FCPS is left with a $7.6 million hole to fill, and planned employee pay raises could take a hit.

2015-04-29: Fx Free Citizen: Stop the Fx County Tax Hikes, by FCTA's Fred Costello
The BOS raised real-estate taxes so they could give their major supporters (the county and school employees) raises far exceeding those given to most county residents.

2015-04-24: FCTA: Vienna posts final notice for budget and real estate tax increase
The Town of Vienna proposes real estate tax rate remain unchanged, so your (4%+) assessment increase will be the same as your next tax bill. (Final adoption May 11.)

2015-04-21: FxCo: Ten Principles of Sound Financial Management -- Updated
The Ten Principles, adopted by the Board of Supervisors on October 22, 1975, endorsed a set of policies designed to contribute to the County’s fiscal management and maintain the County's "triple A" bond rating. Changes were adopted on April 21, 2015 to increase the County's reserve policies and financial position.

2015-04-21: FxCo: FY 2016 Budget Mark-Up Package

2015-04-09: Fx Ti404: FCPS education officials appeal for more funding, by Kate Yanchulis
Most who spoke before the Board of Supervisors recognized that with competing priorities and a tight budget, the county does not have enough to go around. State-level budget adjustments are expected to fill part of the gap, but FCPS still would have to deal with a projected $7.5 million deficit.

2015-04-09: Fx Ti404: Fx Co employees fight for larger pay increase, by Kali Schumitz
Fairfax County employees came out in force to a Wednesday budget hearing to implore county supervisors to uphold the agreement they negotiated with employee unions last fall. BOS Chairman Bulova said supervisors will work to bolster the county pay package in the coming weeks.

2015-04-07: FCTA Presentation to BOS on Real Estate Tax Increases and County Budget
FCTA Board Member Charles McAndrew and wife Linda address the Board Of Supervisors.

2015-04-07: FCTA's Arthur Purves' Presentation to Fx Co Supervisors

2015-03-27: FCTA: Vienna proposes a 5.46% real estate tax increase
A "Notice of Public Hearing for Proposed Budget for FY2015-16 (scheduled for April 13) was published on page B6 of the Washington Times on 03/27/2014 and 04/03/2014. But unlike the Fairfax County notice, which states outright that it "proposes to increase property tax levies", Vienna's notice makes no such mention.

2015-03-25: FCTA: Fx Co savings if private sector policies adopted, by Fred Costello

2015-03-20: FxCo: Notice Appropriating Supplemental Funds -- Add'l $117,387,455 for FY2015

2015-03-05: FCTA: Fairfax County Notice of Proposed Real Property Tax Increase
First public posting, one half of page A8 in the Washington Times. Includes an average increase of 3.4 percent for residential and a decrease of 0.6 percent for non-residential real estate. Public hearing April 7, 2015 at the Gov't Center.

2015-02-20: FxCo: County Executive Ed Long responds to FCTA budget questions
In a Feb 20, 2015 online chat, Fairfax County Executive Ed Long was asked by FCTA president Arthur Purves: 1. Last year, how many applications were there for every job opening? (Schools: 15,000 applications for 1,500 jobs. County: 200,000 applications for 1,000 jobs.) 2. How many county employees resign due to inadequate salary? (No answer.)

2015-02-19: WaPo: Facing budget deficit, Fairfax finds small savings, but ignores real cuts
The proposed small cuts raised the ire of Arthur Purves, who heads the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance and opposed a proposed $32 million in raises for Fairfax's 12,000 county employees. "They're giving raises and pensions and health care for employees higher priority than the programs," Purves said.

2015-02-18: Sun Gazette: Home assessments up all across Fairfax County, by Scott McCaffrey
The average value of single-family homes rose 3.3 percent to $620,080 countywide, while the average assessed value of attached homes (townhouses and rowhouses) rose 3.8 percent to $385,338 and the average assessment of condominiums rose 4.5 percent to $259,752.

2015-02-18: Connection: Stalled Labor Market Slows County Budget => budget pie chart
Commercial assessments dropped 0.6%, while residential assessments increased 3.4%. Commercial vacancy rates are higher than they have been since 1991.

2015-02-17: WaPo: Fairfax's budget choices are all bad ones -- County Executive Ed Long
The proposed FY2016 budget would address projected shortfall by cutting 45 county jobs, offering limited raises for government employees, cutting $14 million from what the county school system asked for, and cutting about $25 million from libraries, family programs and other services. Real estate taxes would increase about $185 (3.39%) on average.

2014-12-02: WaPo: Facing $173 million budget gap, Fairfax faces possible lower bond rating
Moody's in January attached a "negative outlook" to Fairfax's general obligation bonds, used to pay for schools, roads and other infrastructure improvements. Moody's cited Fairfax's underfunded pension systems and emergency budget reserves, which are comparatively lower than those kept by other governments with triple-A bond ratings.

2014-11-28: Sun Gazette: Budget pressure mounts for Fairfax -- Soft commercial real estate
County tax assessors are expecting a decline in commercial real estate values and only a 3 percent increase in home prices for fiscal 2016, less than originally projected. The county is also bracing for the potential impact of state budget cuts. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) will release his proposed budget in mid-December.

2014-11-26: FCTA: Results of the Fairfax County Budget Forecast Meeting, by Chuck McAndrew
Mr. Long presented a bleak picture for the FY 2016 and FY 2017 Fairfax County General Funds and School Funds due to continued restrained revenue growth -- slow job growth, very weak commercial market (highest vacancy rate since 1991), and lower than projected residential values.

2014-11-25: WaPo: Fairfax Co facing $179 million budget shortfall in the next two years
Fairfax County officials are projecting a budget shortfall of $100 million for the coming fiscal year, and $79 million the following year, because of the lackluster recovery of residential property values and the highest office vacancy rate since 1991.

2014-11-25: FxCo: County and FCPS budget forecast presented for FY2016 and FY2017 -- Slides
Fairfax County is facing budget shortfalls due to the tepid recovery in the residential and commercial real estate markets and increasing spending requirements. And the ripple effects of federal and state budget issues continue to impact county revenue, including sales tax receipts; the Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax; and hotel taxes.

2014-10-23: Fx Ti404: Fairfax Co, school officials search for budget harmony, Kate Yanchulis
The two sides agree easily on two points. 1) Both the county and its schools face needs that surpass their available resources. 2) Given the current economic climate, that is unlikely to change. Both sides faced projected shortfalls in last year's budget cycle and will again this year.

2014-10-15: Fx Ti404: New pay plan for Fairfax County employees (Ref: Fx Co and FCPS plans.)
After 18 months of discussion and negotiation, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and county employee organizations have reached a consensus on a new pay plan for employees, which includes performance-based pay and cost-of-living increases.

2014-10-14: FCTA: Fx Co Employee Compensation Work Group Recommendations + Additional Info
Here is the FCTA-requested proposed pay plan for Fairfax Co non-uniformed employees. In FY2016 (election year) 1348 employees would get 5.5% raises, another 2,775 would get 4.5% raises and another 1,206 would get 4% raises. Overall, although the market rate adjustment of 1.5% is less than inflation, this still looks like a much more generous pay plan than would be found in the private sector.

2014-10-06: RCA: Bleak Fx Co budget forecast, higher homeowner taxes likely -- Terry Maynard
Fairfax County is predicting little growth in property values over the next year, less than in its last forecast for FY2016, which is likely to mean higher real estate property tax rates. The County is expecting a $71.4 million dollar shortfall, nearly double the $37.6 million shortfall they forecast last year for 2016.

2014-10-03: Fx Ti404: Once again, taxpayers being kicked to back of the bus -- Rob Whitfield
NVTA and its allies at the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, MWCOG TPB and certain federal agency officials want to spend most of our money designated for transportation on transit projects without regard to their cost effectiveness or their impact on reducing regional highway traffic congestion.

2014-08-25: Sun Gazette: Economist still somewhat downbeat about N.Va. jobs, housing pictures
Four years ago, the Washington region had the nation's best economic prospects; now it's on the bottom of the list. The region has lost 21,000 federal jobs since the recession and likely will lose another 20,000 in the next several years.

2014-08-22: FxCo: Public Hearing on Supplemental Funds Appropriation
Posted as part of "FY 2014 Carryover Budget Package". A quick summary (WT ad#14780162, 8/22, 8/29):

FY 2015 Current Approved Budget Plan . . . . . . . . $6,967,595,254
FY 2015 Proposed Increase (24.62%) . . . . . . . . $1,715,652,795
. . Proposed Funding Increase . . . $1,481,405,708
. . Additional Funding Adjustments . $234,247,087
FY 2015 Proposed Total Expenditures . . . . . . . . . $8,683,248,049

2014-08-15: FCTA: Compare FY2014 Adopted Budgets for Fairfax (Overview,V1,V2) vs Chesterfield
FCTA has downloaded equivalent budget documents for Fairfax and another large county -- Chesterfield, south of Richmond. While Chesterfield's single document totals 379 pages and is concise and straightforward, Fairfax's three documents (371+499+639=1509 total pages) appear full of fluff and virtually unreadable. But you be the judge.

2014-06-23: Biz Journal: Restaurants get reprieve on Fairfax County meals tax
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova doesn't expect the proposed 4 percent meals tax referendum to be acceptable to voters in 2014, so it will likely be delayed until after the 2016 election.

2014-06-22: Sun Gazette: Continued decline seen in average weekly wage across Fairfax
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Fairfax County's economy remains endangered despite the slow national recovery. Both the total number of jobs in the county, and the average weekly wages by those who hold them, posted year-over-year declines in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to figures reported June 19.

2014-06-21: FCTA: Fairfax County Loses Taxpayers to Other Virginia Counties
Fairfax County taxpayers with Average Gross Income (AGI) totaling over $6 billion have left Fairfax County. Most have moved to neighboring Loudoun and Prince William counties which have lower tax rates.

2014-06-17: FxCo: Meals Tax Referendum Task Force - Majority and Minority Reports
FCTA president Arthur Purves was a member of this Task Force, and wrote the Minority Report.

2014-06-11: Connection: Eat. Drink. Pay? (for Fairfax Co meals tax), by Victoria Ross
It has been 22 years since Fairfax County asked voters to approve a tax on restaurant meals, an issue that ignited protests, caused deep divisions among community leaders and threatened to melt down several political careers.

2014-06-11: FCTA: Lower Compensation or Higher Taxes? A Perspective on a Fx Co Meals Tax

2014-06-11: FCTA: Is a Meals Tax the Right Direction? -- Pros and cons

2014-06-11: FCTA: Facts and Figures -- Still think we need a Meals Tax?

2014-06-03: Say "NO" to a Fairfax County Food Tax! -- BOS wants 4% levy on prepared food

2014-06-03: Fx Free Citizen: Meals Tax Task Force a Political Ploy
Chalk up another one to clever Fairfax County politicians who will likely use the results of an ad hoc study committee they created (but gave way too little time to complete serious work) to validate their pursuit of a County meals tax. Another political ploy planned and executed smartly!

2014-05-27: Fairfax eyes $85 million more for bike-walk projects
A proposed $100 million transit referendum earmarks $85 million for new bikeways and pedestrian paths. The outlays come on top of more than $200 million in bike-ped projects already approved. "This doesn't make any more sense than a $1 million bus stop," Supervisor Pet Herrity said, referring to Arlington's notorious "Super Stops."

2014-05-24: WaPo: Fx Co considers reviving proposal to tax restaurant meals
Fairfax County is considering asking voters to approve a tax on restaurant meals, an issue that has been a political third rail in the wealthy jurisdiction and triggered angry rallies and threats of electoral ruin the last time it was considered, in 1992.

2014-05-07: Sun Gazette: Kelleher, Colbert, Majdi win in Vienna; DiRocco still mayor

2014-05-05: Sun Gazette: Vienna Town Council members, residents spar on tax burden
"The tax rates here are increasing unsustainably," said David Swink, a town resident who serves on the board of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance. "It doesn't really matter whether you need it or not. You're taking it. People are just going to have to walk away. The taxpayer really has no say about it."

2014-05-02: FCTA: Vienna posts final notice for budget and real estate tax increase
The Town of Vienna proposes real estate tax rate remain unchanged, so your (8%+) assessment increase will be the same as your next tax bill. (Final adoption May 12.)

2014-04-29: Bulova request: FCTA join Meals Tax task force
Dear Mr. Purves, I am writing to invite you or a representative of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance to participate in a task force to consider a Meals Tax referendum.

2014-04-24: Sun Gazette: Seeking more money, Fairfax convenes meals-tax task force
Not content with this year's 7.3% increase in real estate taxes, Fairfax County Supervisor Chairman Sharon Bulova proposed today creation of a task force (see below) to evaluate whether to place a meals tax referendum on the ballot at some point in the future. FCTA president Arthur Purves said even the imposition of a meals tax would not raise enough money to offset runaway county spending.

2014-04-24: Fx Co Supervisor Bulova wants to create a Meals Tax Referendum task force

2014-04-24: FCTA: Fairfax Co, Vienna Real Estate Taxes Over Last 40 Years
A FCTA board member, and Vienna resident since 1975, provides raw real estate tax data for nearly forty years, from 1976 onward, for both Fairfax County and the Town of Vienna.

2014-04-22: Reston Now: Fairfax Supervisors OK 7.3% Real Estate Tax Hike
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to increase the real estate tax rate to $1.09 per $100 of assessed value, the biggest hike since 2007. The vote passed 7-3, with supervisors Pat Herrity (Springfield) , Linda Smyth (Providence), and John Cook (Braddock) voted against the rate.

2014-04-21: Fx Ti404: Fairfax Board of Supervisors debates key budget elements
The main budget package that Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova (D-At large) will put forward tomorrow includes a slight increase in the real estate tax rate and $14.6 million in budget cuts. That money would be used to fund larger pay increases for county employees and more schools funding than was included in County Executive Ed Long’s proposed budget.

2014-04-11: Sun Gazette: Vienna residents vent over rising town tax rate
FCTA's David Swink noted that Vienna's residential property taxes would increase a higher percentage than the town’s overall budget. Swink said his property-tax bill remained flat from 1990 to 2000, but doubled between 2001 and 2007.

2014-04-10: FCTA's Tom Cranmer's Presentation to Fx Co Supervisors

2014-04-09: Balance FY2015 budget without increasing property tax rate
You can sign a petition to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors!

2014-04-08: FCTA Presentation to BOS on Real Estate Tax Increases and County Budget
FCTA Board Member Charles McAndrew and wife Linda address the Board Of Supervisors.

2014-04-08: Taxpayer Rally on Tuesday, April 8 at 6PM!
Join us at the taxpayer rally, at the start of the first night of the Board of Supervisors budget hearings.

2014-04-08: FCTA's Arthur Purves' Presentation to Fx Co Supervisors

2014-04-03: FxCo: BOS Chairman replies to FCTA's April 8 presentations
Chairman Sharon Bulova replies to Charles and Linda McAndrews' upcoming presentations, having been sent the FCTA letters in advance.

2014-04-02: Loudoun Times: BOS approve $2B budget, leave $38M shortfall for local schools
Loudoun's Board of Supervisors signed off on an approximately $2 billion fiscal 2015 county budget Wednesday night, which will hold taxes level for the average county homeowner -- a key goal stated by the nine Republican supervisors elected into office in 2011. The county's $600 million allocation to the schools in fiscal 2015 is the largest amount possible without a tax increase.

2014-03-28: FCTA: Vienna posts notice of real estate tax increase
The Town of Vienna proposes real estate tax rate remain unchanged, so your (8%+) assessment increase will be the same as your next tax bill. (Public hearing April 28.)

2014-03-28: FCTA: Sully District Mtg - Minutes
FCTA's Charles McAndrew and Rob Whitfield in attendance.

2014-03-21: FCTA: Vienna proposes a 7.5% real estate tax increase
A "Notice of Public Hearing for Proposed Budget for FY2014-15 (scheduled for April 7) was published on page B5 of the Washington Times on 03/21/2014 and 03/28/2014. But unlike the Fairfax County notice, which states outright that it "proposes to increase property tax levies", Vienna's notice makes no such mention.

2014-03-20: FxCo: Advertised Budget for FY 2015 Presentation - Updated (59 pages)

2014-03-20: FCTA: Dranesville District Mtg - Minutes
FCTA's Thomas Cranmer in attendance.

2014-03-11: Sun Gazette: Supervisors Drop the Ball in Advertising Higher Tax Rate
Memo to Fairfax County homeowners: You now know who your allies are on the Board of Supervisors. Patrick Herrity (R-Springfield) and Linda Smyth (D-Providence) did the right thing in opposing the board majority, which voted to advertise a tax-rate increase.

2014-03-11: FCTA: Fairfax Co Adjustments for Pay and Benefits 2000-2014
Information requested by FCTA from the county regarding pay and benefit data equivalent to what Fairfax County Public Schools had provided.

2014-03-06: WT: Fairfax County Notice of Proposed Real Property Tax Increase
First public posting, one half of page A8 in the Washington times. Includes an average increase of 6.54 percent for residential and a decrease of 0.10 percent for non-residential real estate. Public hearing April 8, 2014 at the Gov't Center.

2014-03-05: Supervisor Herrity on Budget/Tax Rate, School Budget, and more
A 15.5% tax increase over three years demonstrates the board has lost its sense of priorities... The $98 million School Board request to fund our schools can be easily met without a tax rate increase and why teachers can and should get a raise...

2014-03-04: Patch: Board of Supervisors Authorizes Advertised Tax Rate of $1.105
If approved, would be a 8.5% annual increase in the average real estate tax bill. Supervisors Herrity and Smyth vote against measure. Public hearings on budget and tax rate begin Tuesday, April 8.

2014-03-01: FCTA: Hunter Mill District Mtg - Minutes
FCTA's Charles McAndrew in attendance.

2014-02-xx: FxCo EDA: Major State and Local Taxes and Fees, FY2014
This report highlights major state and local taxes and fees. The first section focuses on tax information for businesses, followed by tax information for individuals. Also included are an overview of other taxes and fees, a directory of state and local agencies and neighboring jurisdictions, and a regional tax rate comparison.

2014-02-28: FxCo: County Executive Ed Long responds to FCTA budget questions
In a Feb 28, 2014 online chat, Fairfax County Executive Ed Long responded to three of ten questions posed by FCTA president, Arthur Purves.

2014-02-28: FCTA: Ten Budget Questions for the Board of Supervisors
The Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance asked the Board of Supervisors to consider ten questions, which were submitted on the County's chat link before Feb 28. Three of these were answered. View the actual Q.

2014-02-25: FxCo: Fairfax County Executive Proposes $7 Billion Budget for FY2015
Proposed budget maintains the FY 2014 Real Estate Tax Rate at $1.085 per $100 of assessed value. Recommended operating transfer to Fairfax County Public Schools is $1.75 billion, a 2 percent increase over FY 2014.

2014-01-16: Prioritize schools, pensions, not 'bailing out a bank'
Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity, R-Springfield District, was the lone dissenting vote against a board of supervisors move this week to take on $30 million owed by what's known as the Lorton Arts Center.

2014-01-09: Patch: Moody's Gives Fairfax County 'Negative Outlook'
As Fairfax County prepares to sell $305 million in bonds to raise money for schools, public safety and transportation programs, Moody's Investor Service slapped the county with a "negative outlook" tag.

2013-12-29: FCTA: Fairfax Co Budgets 1999 to 2014
FCTA's Fred Costello has compiled basic Fairfax County budget data for FY1999 through FY2014, as shown both graphically and in item-by-item detail.

2013-12-04: Biz Journal: Fairfax County's first billion dollar property
The Macerich Co.'s Tysons Corner Center is the most valuable, taxable property in the Washington area, and now it's got a number to prove it: $1 billion. The Tysons' assessment rose by $25 million over one year, and is likely to jump more next year as a result of the Silver Line opening.

2013-09-xx: FCTA: Fairfax Co Loses Taxpayers, Virginia Gains
Fairfax County had a net loss of $6.03 billion in annual Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) between 1992 and 2010. Meanwhile, the state of Virginia had a net gain of $3.30 billion in annual AGI.

2013-09-18: Henrico taxpayer group educates citizens on Meals Tax issue (1,2,3) -- et tu Fx?
The "Stop Henrico Meals Tax" organization has produced three animated videos to effectively expose Henrico's meals tax agenda in 2013. The same arguments would apply to Fairfax. -- 1. Just get the money (2:14); 2. Don't Disclose That! (6:03); 3. Henrico Parents Learn Truth About Meals Tax (2:18). UPDATE: Henrico's meals tax passed anyway.

2013-09-14: FCTA: Fairfax Co Real Estate Taxes Increasing More Than Twice as Fast as Inflation
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors increased real estate taxes 100% (from $2400 to $4800) between 2000 and 2007. And 114% to date.

2013-09-14: FCTA: The Great Recession ... or the Great Bubble?
Reduced wealth since the "Great Recession" has not prevented increases in Fairfax County residential assessments.

2012-09-xx: Governing: Are Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) Useless?
For all their charts and graphs, CAFRs don't tell public officials -- or the public -- anything about fiscal sustainability or whether a locality's finances might be trending south. What actually sinks city and county finances is that slow, steady accretion of bad -- and hidden -- fiscal news that either nobody is getting or no one wants to hear, like bond and pension obligations.

2012-02-11: WaPo: Fx Co supervisors discuss meals tax, roads, other issues at retreat
Also: Sharon Bulova wants to rewrite the rules that govern land-use decisions, which currently allows for intense deliberation and wide public involvement. "Citizens, you have no say!"

2011-06-17: Patch: Nielsen's Owner Arrested for Failing to Pay Vienna Meals Taxes
Michael Paul Willis, 28, of Vienna, the owner of the Nielsen's Frozen Custard, was charged with two counts of embezzlement for not paying Town of Vienna meals taxes during several periods over the last year.

2010-xx-xx: FCTA: Fairfax Co FY 2010 Adopted Budget

1971-03-26: Evening Star: Fairfax Schools Provide Data for Budget Study, by Thomas Crosby
The Fairfax County School Board has decided in closed session to send the county government information which might be used to cut the school budget. Fairfax has a $294.5 million budget this year, with a $15.4 million deficit. The school board announced it was reducing its operating budget request by $1.6 million, to $79.7 million.

1950-2009.: Va Code: Annual real estate tax bill increases limited to 1%
The Code of Virginia limits the collective real estate tax bill increase by any jurisdiction to one percent (regardless of changes in assessments or tax rate). However, the jurisdiction may raise this rate after holding public hearings, at least 30 days after posting notices in "at least one newspaper of general circulation". (Fairfax County always uses the Washington Times; never the Post. Hmmmm!)