When Fairfax City property tax bills are mailed out May 1, the tax rate will be 9 cents lower than last year's.

In a pre-election gift to the voters, the Fairfax City Council last week went beyond City Manager Edward A. Wyatt's recommended 5-cent cut and set the property tax rate at $1.15 per $100 of assessed value.

The lone opponent of the 9-cent cut was council member William T. Scott Jr., who is not running for reelection May 4 but is a declared candidate for city treasurer in the November election. He complained that such a hefty cut in the tax rate would drain city reserves.

The majority of the council supported the larger tax cut, however, by carrying over $350,000 from the current fiscal year and projecting revenues of $520,000 for fiscal 1983.

The council also approved a $23.4 million budget for the coming fiscal year, which, compared with the current fiscal year's $22.2 million budget, represents a 7.5 percent increase in spending. It is closely patterned after Wyatt's proposed budget, but adds a $16,400 position for a recreation department coordinator, $56,900 for a police officer and two police dispatchers, and an additional $50,000 for street paving.