County Executive Presents FY 2025 Advertised Budget

Tax increase proposed; jobs cut; state underfunds schools; supervisors will make changes.

Bryan Hill, Fairfax County's executive, presented his proposed FY 2025 Advertised Budget and the FY 2025-2029 Capital Improvement Program Feb 20. Hill’s Advertised Budget is the first step in a community-driven budget process. The board will approve the FY 2025 budget after changes on May 7. 

According to Jeff C. McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in a Feb. 20 release, the advertised budget provides “limited, targeted investments,” such as the 42 new positions to address various county needs, including the effects of inflation and support for board priorities such as affordable housing and environmental initiatives. Hill’s advertised budget leaves balances totaling $3.83 million for the board to consider, a small amount of the more than $3.5 billion total.

The budget is based on a $1.135 Real Estate Tax rate, which partially funds both the schools request and the employee compensation package. Hill’s budget calls for a 4-cent increase in the current real estate tax rate. The proposed rate would result in an average property tax bill increase of just over $524.

The advertised budget only partially funds the county schools' proposed budget. The superintendent’s budget requested an increase of $254.03 million, or 10.5 percent, making it historically the largest school operating request by percentage since FY 2007. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), a key component of the legislative oversight function in Virginia, reported that “Virginia schools receive 14 percent less funding per pupil than the average across the entire country,” according to Hill’s advertised budget.

The advertised budget also proposes fully funding the first year of public safety collective bargaining agreements.

While there is a proposed $33.82 million expenditure reduction in the advertised budget, $36 million in net savings is identified. That includes a reduction of 84 positions, $33.82 million in expenditure reductions and $2.28 million in increased projected revenue.

Increases for six priorities itemized total $40.58 million.

1) Inflationary/Contract Rate Adjustments: $16.02 million.

2) Housing and Human Services, $7.75 million, with the preservation of 72 early childhood slots and five positions to support affordable housing.

3) Parks and Environment, $6.83 million with $3.18 million and four positions to support the Park Authority for parks operations and maintenance, forestry operations, bamboo mitigation, zero waste initiatives and mobile nature centers; consolidation of RecPac and summer SACC in the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services; Athletic Services Fees are recommended to increase in support of the athletic sports program, including redirection of non-resident fees from the General Fund to the athletic sports program; and $3.45 million in capital support for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

4) Information Technology, $5.94 million.

5) County Operations, $2.77 million, with two positions and operational support for the Office of Elections.

6) Safety and Security, $1.27 million, with four probation counselor positions to provide administrative and operational support at the Lorton Police Station.

According to the budget timeline, the Board of Supervisors and School Board will hold a joint meeting on Monday, Feb. 27 to discuss the FY 2025 budget and tax rates. On March 5, the Board of Supervisors will authorize the advertisement of the tax rate for fiscal year 2025. On March 19, the Board of Supervisors will authorize the advertisement of the FY 2024 Third Quarter Review. On April 16, the Fairfax County School Board will present the county's public school budget to the Board of Supervisors.

The budget process includes three days of public hearings, April 16-18.  Individuals who are unable to attend in person may submit budget testimony live via phone or video. The annual budget process includes a series of budget town hall meetings hosted by district supervisors and attended by county budget staff.

See for more.