FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County executive Bryan Hill presented the Fiscal Year 2022 budget to the board of supervisors, on Tuesday, the first step of many toward solidifying the county budget for the upcoming year.
Hill opened the budget presentation by expressing the importance of maintaining a conservative approach for the 2022 budget, proposing an increase of $16.5 million more than allotted in 2021.
“At this point, although we are hopeful that many of our revenue categories will rebound in FY 2022, the timing and breadth of that recovery is uncertain. As you will see, our strong real estate market, specifically the residential market, is the primary reason why we will be able to make some investments in county priorities in FY 2022,” said Hill in his opening statement.
Hill then introduced the first noticeable change to the budget — a one-cent reduction in the real estate tax rate — and its potential burden on homeowners if no change is adopted.
“With no change to the tax rate, the average tax bill would increase by almost $285 for the coming year. A one-cent decrease reduces the average increase to approximately $224,” stated Hill.
As for county employees, in November, Hill said it would be unlikely to add compensation increases to the 2022 budget and that still remains the case.
“It would require over $55 million to fund our full compensation program, almost $30 million alone just to fund the MRA and we simply do not have the resources available at this time,” said Hill.
Chairman Jeffrey McKay said keeping people employed is a main county priority.
“Most importantly, job number one, at least as far as I’m concerned of this board, is to protect county positions, keep people in their jobs and not cause further economic pain,” explained McKay.
A few budget highlights include Fairfax County Public Schools receiving an increase of $14.13 million more than in 2021, the police department receiving funds to implement the body-worn camera program and 15 new full-time positions opening in the Fairfax Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
The board will hear from the public before solidifying the budget plan. Many district supervisors said they will be hosting virtual town halls to discuss the budget with residents soon. For more information, click here.