Fairfax County taxes, county employee pay expected to increase in proposed budget

May 3, 2023


By Nick Minock

FAIRFAX, Va. (7News) — On Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors made some big changes to the proposed county budget for Fiscal Year 2024.

After outrage from residents that Fairfax County supervisors gave themselves a 30-40% raise, supervisors decided to give county workers a bigger raise than what was originally proposed.

County workers are now set to get a 5.4% cost of living raise, which is an increase from the county executive’s proposed 2% raise. Fairfax County Public Schools is set to get $3.5 billion from the board, which is a 7.6% increase from the previous year.

Eight million dollars is set aside for affordable housing initiatives. The board of supervisors is set to approve assessing vehicles at 90% of their market value for the tax year 2023.

“There’s obviously some good news in the budget. We took care of our employees giving them the full 5.44% cost of living increase,” said Supervisor Pat Herrity. “But the people who got left out of this were our taxpayers.”

Supervisor Pat Herrity said taxes are going to go up because other supervisors weren’t interested in finding budget efficiencies to provide tax relief.

“Taxes are still going up 5.7%,” said Herrity. “That’s for your average homeowner, but remember, renters pay that because if the cost goes up to the person you’re renting from, they’re going to pass that cost on through rent.”

For more than a year, 7News on Your Side has been reporting on the officer shortage in Fairfax County.

Fairfax County Police Department is down around 200 officers as several categories of violent crime have been increasing in the county.

At the beginning of the 2024 budget process, officers were going to get a 2% raise in the next fiscal year, but now they’re set to get a 10% to 15% raise.

”It’s entirely because our citizens understand crime is going up,” said Herrity, who added several community groups and residents have spoken out about the need for improved public safety and officer pay. “They understand the importance of having police officers, there is certainly your coverage of the situation, and I think that all made a big difference.”

“Over the last several months, we have been meeting with the Chairman and members of the Board of Supervisors,” said Steve Monahan, the President of the Fairfax Chapter of the Southern States Police Benevolent Association. “Our intention was to advocate for better pay for our officers and to show our need for starting pay for police officers that is competitive in the region. We feel that we were able to demonstrate to the Board that our officers are being tasked with more responsibilities while working through a staffing crisis. When the County Executive presented his proposed budget, we were disappointed to hear that he proposed a Cost-of-Living increase of only 2%. We continued to advocate for higher pay and yesterday we were pleased to learn that our conversations paid off. During the Budget Mark-Up, the Board proposed a 5% raise for all officers, they brought the cost-of-living adjustment to 5.44%, and they fully funded our merit and longevity steps. Once the budget is finalized, our officers will now see a 10.44% to 15.44% increase in pay during the 2024 Fiscal Year. There is still work to do, but we are grateful to see that the Board of Supervisors values the officers within the Fairfax County Police Department.”

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to finalize the budget next week and the school board will decide on teacher pay.