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Thursday, May 9, 2019

County budget fully funds schools

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a $4.4 billion budget for FY 2020 May 7 that fully funds Fairfax County Public Schools, boosts employee pay, and retains the existing real estate tax rate.

The adopted budget represents an increase of $50.56 million, or 1.1 percent, over the current year budget.

While the tax rate will remain at $1.15 per $100 of assessed value, homeowners will pay more, as the average assessment increased 2.36 percent (2.31 percent in Mason District).

The budget includes $2.35 billion for FCPS, which fully funds the school board’s request. Much of those funds will be used to increase salaries. Over half, 52.8 percent of the county budget, is transferred to the schools.

The BoS approved an increase to the market rate adjustment for county employees from 1 percent to 2.1 percent. This would increase the minimum wage for county employees from $14.83 to $15.14 an hour.

The board allocated $200,000 to go towards a new pilot program that would provide legal representation funding for some immigrants facing civil deportation proceedings. The funds will be used by nonprofits and not given directly to individuals in need of legal counsel.

At the end of the pilot program, the initiative will be evaluated and, if successful, compete against other county priorities in the future as part of the Community Funding Pool.

The budget supports two new positions: for the new Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination and for a housing coordinator position in the Department of Housing.

As part of the third quarter review for FY 2019, $5 million will be added to accelerate affordable housing initiatives. This is in addition to the $10 million already allocated for 2020 and the more than $140 million from all sources, including state and federal funds.

Several fees are increased in the budget:
  • The refuse collection fee goes up from $350 per household to $385.
  • The refuse disposal fee is increased from $66 to $68 per ton. 
  • Sewer service charges are increased from $7 to $7.10 per 1,000 gallons. 
  • The sewer service base charge goes up from $30.38 per quarter to $32.91.
During the budget discussions, the BoS identified challenges and opportunities for FY 2021, including the need to tackle energy and environmental issues, consideration of a funding plan to address the recommendations of the Affordable Housing Resources Panel, and reviewing the results of the pilot program on police body-worn cameras.


  1. So, the BOD just couldn't resist forcing its sanctuary agenda down the throats of its residents. This $200k giveaway is nothing more than a misappropriation of budgeted funds to support Hispanic interest groups in pursuing private legal interests that have no relation to county operations. It's bad enough we're already having to budget for the education of illegals. Instead of exacerbating the current immigration crisis, the Board should stop shielding illegals and order the police to begin cooperating with ICE in apprehending illegals subject to deportation orders. - Sparky

  2. Folks, this is what you keep voting for. It should be against the law for our tax dollars to be used to help people in our country illegally. This is not xenophobic, or racist, it is following the law. While we want to treat all humans with respect and dignity, we must start questioning why we keep footing the bill for those who are pushing our system to the limit. There are just as many people in Africa and Asia, who are living in hostile conditions, who would love to descend on our country and tug at the heartstrings of America for compassionate help. The sad reality, is that we cannot help everyone. We must abide by the laws, or continue to see our country schools and services decline, and our taxes go up.