The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 6-3 Tuesday, March 6, to advertise the real estate tax rate for FY 2013 as $1.08 per $100 of assessed value. The current FY 2012 rate is $1.07.
Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) was not present for the vote, and Republican Supervisors Pat Herrity (Springfield), Michael Frey (Sully) and John Cook (Braddock) voted against it.
Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-At-large) noted that advertising an increase in the rate does not prevent the board from lowering any advertised tax rate, but a higher tax rate cannot be imposed without advertising the higher rate.
"This gives us the flexibility we need, depending what happens with the General Assembly," said Bulova.
Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) called the one penny increase "insurance" that could mitigate potential shortfalls from the state or federal government.
But Frey said the additional stormwater management fee increase already hikes the tax rate by two cents to $1.10 per $100 of assessed value. "I cannot support this. I don’t want to get people’s hopes up that they will see more money because of uptick in property assessments."
This $1.08 rate will provide flexibility of 1 cent or $19.95 million above the county executive’s FY 2013 proposed budget. Each 1 cent increase in the real estate tax rate impacts the average residential taxpayer’s annual bill by approximately $45.
In addition, the board authorized the advertisement of a Stormwater Management Service fee of $0.025 per $100 of assessed value to support stormwater management programs and services and capital project requirements. The FY 2012 rate is $0.015. This rate increase is required to meet the increasing federal and state regulatory requirements pertaining to the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit requirements, and state and federal mandates associated with the Chesapeake Bay, according to Bulova.
A separate public hearing on the effective tax rate will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 3:30 p.m., Fairfax County Government Center Board Auditorium, as required by Virginia Code. In addition, public hearings on the FY 2013 budget, the advertised capital improvement plan (CIP) and proposed tax rates for tax year 2012 have been set for Tuesday, April 10, at 6 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday, April 11-12, at 3 p.m. also at the Fairfax County Government Center Board Auditorium.
Those wishing to speak at any of the public hearings should contact the Office of the Clerk to the Board at 703-324-3151, TTY 703-324-3903, to place their name on the speakers list or sign up online. The Board of Supervisors will adopt the budget on May 1. Key budget dates are available online.
Town hall meetings are being held throughout the county to give residents the opportunity to ask questions and discuss specific concerns. The complete schedule is available online.