Jeff McKay’s county-funded car called into question as he votes to give himself $45K raise

March 7, 2023


By Nick Minock

FAIRFAX, Va. (7News) — On Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8-2 to move forward with massive pay increases for themselves.

Before the raises take effect next year, there will be a public hearing on March 21 at 4:30 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center on 12000 Government Center Parkway Fairfax, Va. 22035. You can sign up to speak in person or virtually, according to a county spokesperson.

Chairman Jeff McKay and other supervisors explained why they felt taxpayers should give them upwards of a 45% raise.

“Some may have been born into a political dynasty and have wealth and have part-time jobs that allow this work to happen,” said McKay. “Others don’t come from that background.”

County taxpayers already compensate McKay $100,000 a year. McKay’s salary may now increase to $145,000 which would also give a big boost to his county pension. Other Fairfax County Supervisors make about $90,000 a year and their salary may increase up to $130,000.

Pat Herrity, who was one of two supervisors to vote against the raises, mentioned how the role of a supervisor is technically a part-time job.

“This is public service,” said Herrity. “This is a board position. This isn’t ten mini-county executives trying to run the county.”

McKay and Supervisor John Foust disagreed.

“I personally consider this a full-time job,” said Foust.

Herrity brought up how McKay drives a county car, which was first reported by 7News. We confirmed McKay drives a Ford Fusion Hybrid which is paid for by McKay’s office budget.

On Tuesday, 7News Reporter Nick Minock asked McKay’s office if McKay is reporting the use of the county Ford Fusion Hybrid as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and asked if McKay is personally paying for the annual county property tax on the Ford Fusion Hybrid or is he paying the vehicle property taxes from his office budget. 7News will update this story when McKay’s office responds.

“I understand that there are some supervisors that have county take-home vehicles,” Herrity said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I don’t remember that coming before the Board [of Supervisors] but it would be useful to have that information and take that into account when we’re looking at compensation because compensation is bigger than just a paycheck.”

But, McKay changed the topic and brought up how only supervisors who vote ‘yes’ on the proposal would get raises and supervisors who disagree would have to give the raise back to the county.

Critics of supervisors’ and McKay’s massive pay raise said it is a slap in the face for county workers who may only get 2% raises from the Board of Supervisors this year and critics also argue the huge raise is tone-deaf as property taxes and car taxes are rising in Fairfax County –– something the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors could fix if they wanted to.

“Our residents are struggling with inflation, high inflation, they’re struggling with a 50% increase in their taxes in the last 10 years,” said Herrity. “We got a budget in front of us that doesn’t even address public safety and some of the other critical positions.”

But Supervisor Dalia Palchik called the raise a “slight change” and Supervisor Rodney Lusk said the current county salary is a barrier for people to run for the Board of Supervisors.

“When I had to deliberate on running for the Board of Supervisors, this issue was a very significant one,” said Lusk said during Tuesday’s meeting. “From conversations with my wife. She was trying to understand how I could take a salary cut is how she described it because of the compensation that we make on this board. I have two daughters, one that’s in college, she will be graduating this year. And the only reason I could run is because I had spent 30 years working in this county prior and I retired and then I became able to meet the financial requirements that I would have as a parent, father, husband.”

“I look forward to hearing from the community and hopefully we are able to make that slight change so that when we come around to another four years, we have a very representative body and candidates who are able to make that choice,” said Palchik.

The supervisors who voted for pay increases for next year’s Board of Supervisors include Penelope Gross, James Walkinshaw, John Foust, Rodney Lusk, Daniel Storck, Dalia Palchik, Kathy Smith, and Chair McKay.

The supervisors who voted against the pay increases were Pat Herrity and Walter Alcorn.