On Monday, March 5, Dranesville District Supervisor Foust, County Chief Financial Officer Joe Mondoro, and County ExecutiveBryan Hill spoke at McLean High School about the FY 2019 budget, which Hill presented to the Board of Supervisors on February 20, 2018.
Since Mr. Hill began working for Fairfax County on January 2, 2018, the FY 2019 advertised budget was developed largely by the prior County Executive. Mr. Hill said that he intended to identify ways to reduce County spending in future budget years, and that FCPS Superintendent Brabrand planned to do the same for the FCPS budget in FY 2020 and subsequent years.
Joe Mondoro, the County CFO, summarized the FY 2019 advertised budget, which recommended an increase in the real estate tax rate of 2.5 cents, from $.113 to $1.155 per $100 of assessed value. In addition, assessed values for existing residential property on average rose roughly 2% between 2017 and 2018.
With these additional revenues, the FY 2019 Advertised Budget fully funded the school system's FY 2019 Advertised Budget. County and school system employees would receive average raises of about 4.5%. In addition, the County proposes to increase by $25 million per year the amount of bonds issued for school construction and renovation.
Audience comments and questions reflected a range of perspectives. A few people thanked the speakers for proposing to increase taxes, so that the school system would be fully funded in FY 2019. Others expressed concern about the impact of rising assessed values and higher tax rates on homeowners, and questioned the County's assessment methods.