Fairfax County Executive Anthony Griffin unveiled a proposed $6.7 billion budget Tuesday for fiscal 2013 that would boost spending by about 2 percent over the revised 2012 spending plan and raise property taxes by about $34 for the typical household.
The property tax rate would stay the same at $1.07 per $100 of assessed value. Several other fees, such as for sewer, will rise.
Although Griffin did not urge an increase in the tax rate, he suggested that the Board of Supervisors advertise for a tax rate of $1.09 in the event that they would like to move closer to the budget contribution requested by the Fairfax County Public Schools.
To fully meet the school board’s request for $2.45 billion, the Board of Supervisors would have to increase its transfer by $135.8 million, or 8.4 percent, compared with the previous fiscal year. That would be the equivalent of a 3 percent jump in the real estate tax rate. Griffin said it was simply not possible.
This will be the last budget Griffin, 64, drafts, having announced last fall that he will step down this spring after more than a decade as the county’s top manager. The spending plan shows the hallmarks of Griffin’s style, and that of the Board of Supervisors under Chairman Sharon S. Bulova, in a post-recessionary climate: The spending plan pursues a modest agenda while distributing its costs through modest effective tax increases and user fees.
The fiscal 2013 budget projects general fund revenues at $3.46 billion, an increase of about $112.4 million, or 3.4 percent, over the previous year’s revised budget, and an increase in spending of $59.25 million, or 1.71 percent, over the revised fiscal 2012 spending plan. Total general fund expenditures are projected at $3.521 billion.
It also anticipates raising the amount given to Fairfax County Public Schools by about 4.5 percent.
The county executive’s budget is a blueprint. Now begins the pushing and pulling over what to fund and what to cut. In recent years, Bulova has emphasized strategies to increase the public’s participation through frequent town halls and online interaction.