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Fairfax County Executive Proposes Higher Tax Rate, Major Cuts

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A $250 million budget gap is forcing the county executive to propose job cuts and a higher real estate tax rate.
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A $250 million budget gap is forcing the county executive to propose job cuts and a higher real estate tax rate.

By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, Fairfax County's executive supports cutting 280 county jobs and raising the tax rate as part of his strategy to close a $250 million budget gap.

County Executive Anthony Griffin's proposal calls for increasing Fairfax's real estate tax rate by 5 cents for every $100 of assessed value. Since many property values have gone down, the average taxpayer would still owe less than they did last year.

Board of Supervisors member Catherine Hudgins says that could change as discussions move forward.

"I think we're looking at least the increase that the county executive is offering, because the delta is too large in order for us to talk about the quality of life in Fairfax County not changing," she says.

Griffin's proposal also includes major cuts, including cuts to funding for county parks and libraries for the second straight year and cuts to public safety overtime and salary funding.

Griffin is calling for $7 million in spending on affordable housing. Supervisor Pat Herrity says he doesn't support that.

"I don't know how we can sit here and talk about a $7 million affordable housing program, when we're talking about cutting 62 jobs to our police force," says Herrity. "We've got to get back to our core values."

The Fairfax school district is unlikely to be happy with Griffin's proposal: it would give the school district $95 million less than school board members requested.

The first public hearing on the county budget is set for Tuesday, April 6th.

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