Fairfax City Council is considering a staff recommendation to increase real estate taxes by 8 cents for Fiscal Year 2014, in part to make up for increased costs in capital improvement projects and the city's school tuition bill.
At a Tuesday night council work session, the staff unveiled City Manager Bob Sisson’s budget blueprint for next year.
Check back with Patch on Wednesday and Thursday for more updates on the city's school tuition bill.
The plan calls for a residential real estate tax rate of $1.09 per $100 of assessed value, an increase from the FY 2013 adopted rate of $1.01. The proposed hike comes on top of a 7-cent increase in the real estate tax the council adopted last year.
The increases are being driven by many factors, including a sluggish recovery from the recession. But, the city’s unemployment has declined from 7.3 percent in September 2011 to 5.7 percent in June 2012, which is below the state’s unemployment rate of 6.0 percent and the national unemployment rate of 8.4 percent.
For homeowners, the FY 2014 increase amounts to an additional:
- $306 a year for a $300,000 assessed property.
- $510 a year for a $500,000 assessed property.
- $714 a year for a $700,000 assessed property.
“It’s really tough and for years, we’ve been playing catch up in a lot of areas,” Mayor Scott Silverthorne said.
Sisson proposed FY 2014 overall spending of $176 million next year, an increase of 8.6 percent from the current fiscal year. The proposal recommends spending $127 million from the General Fund (an increase of 5.3 percent) which includes Capital Fund expenditures, like city construction projects, of about $5 million.
Other Budget Highlights:
- Assessed value of all real property equal to $5.3 billion, an increase of $112 million or 2.1 percent (includes new construction of $42.2 million).
- Maintains the Senior Tax and Rent Relief income limit at $62,000.
- Adds $345,000 to the fund that keeps the city’s CUE bus system running. Ridership remains stable, but regional funding support has fluctuated.
The council will hold another session to debate the budget on March 26; it intends to adopt a final budget by May 1.