Sequestration Casts Shadow on Fairfax County Budget

A property tax hike could be on the horizon for Fairfax County homeowners if the Board of Supervisors follows County Executive Ed Long's budget proposal.

Long provided the Board its starting point for budget discussions that will take place over the next two months. The county should be able to stay in the black with his fiscal year 2014 budget plan, he said, but in fiscal year 2015, he projects an almost $40 million shortfall, something he describes as "manageable."

Even with the impact of federal government sequester cuts looming, there is reason for optimism in Fairfax County, Long said.

"The opening of the (Metro) Silver line later this year ... and you can see with the list of other projects, there is a lot of activity going on in Fairfax County and that’s a good thing," he said. 

The biggest budget increase recommended is in the schools budget. The $41 million added to the school budget is still below the almost $66 million that was requested by the school board.

To maintain the current level of public service in the county, a 2 cent property tax hike is recommended. That would add about $262 to the average homeowner's tax bill, Long said. The supervisors will decide on their advertised tax rate at the March 5 meeting.

Public hearings on the budget are set for April 9, 10 and 11.

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