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Fairfax Budget Shortfall Smaller, Pay Raises Still Unlikely

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In Virginia, Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova says the county is dealing with another estimated budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year.

There's nothing funny about an estimated $50 million budget gap.

But a wry chuckle from Bulova, a Democrat, is perhaps understandable, given that last year the gap was more than $200 million, and it was $600 million a year before that.

"And so this year, $50 million is moving in the right direction," Bulova says, "but it still is a challenge."

Braddock Supervisor John Cook, a Republican, says the actual shortfall is more than twice that amount, if board members intend to keep tax payments -- and not just the tax rate -- level.

"If we want to hold tax payments equal, which is what we we said we were gonna do in our guidance document that we passed in April, then our shortfall is $120 million," Cook says.

Another issue to be hashed out in the next few months: whether county employees will get a raise.

County workers have gone without a pay increase for the past two years, but in her State of the County address, Bulova said an increase would add another $50 million to the shortfall.

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