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Community Dialogue Hints At Acceptance Of Higher Taxes

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Number-crunchers in Fairfax County's budget office warn that the county's budget deficit for the coming fiscal year could be worse than this year's.
Jonathan Wilson
Number-crunchers in Fairfax County's budget office warn that the county's budget deficit for the coming fiscal year could be worse than this year's.

Number-crunchers in Fairfax County's budget office warn that the county's budget deficit for the coming fiscal year could be worse than this years.

Thursday night, residents got a chance to brainstorm solutions.

The vast majority of the 100 or so people gathered in the Woodson High School cafeteria said higher taxes and fees, and not job or service cuts, are the answer to Fairfax County's projected $300 million-plus shortfall.

Gabby Kreuscher says Fairfax just needs to find a way to keep a good thing going.

"I think that's going to be the big key in all this, not making more cuts," she says, "getting more money to keep Fairfax County and schools they way they are."

The county raised its real estate tax rate, which accounts for 64 percent of its revenue, this year, but most residents didn't see an increase in their tax bill. Mike Perschbacher says he'd be willing to pay more next year.

"We're more than happy seeing those things increase to pay for the things most important to us, and we'd like to think most of the county would agree," he says.

The Board of Supervisors has a few more months to see if it can build the kind of consensus found at Thursday nights community dialogue. It must adopt the budget for the coming fiscal year in April.

Jonathan Wilson reports...

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