Residential tax rate increasing as part of approved Fairfax Co. budget

Homeowners in Fairfax County, Virginia, will see their yearly tax bill increase as part of the fiscal 2025 budget leaders approved Tuesday.

As part of the package, the residential tax rate is increasing by 3 cents, and will now be $1.125 per $100 of assessed value. The result, the county said, is an average real estate tax bill increase of just over $450.

The increase is necessary, lawmakers said, to offset the loss in commercial tax revenue caused by a rise in telework in the aftermath of the pandemic.

“Clearly, we are in a place where I think we might have sustained problems over time, looking at the commercial tax base in particular, and trying to figure out what’s really going to happen with office properties,” Supervisor Rodney Lusk said at an April 30 budget meeting. “We’ve got to come to a decision, I think, collectively as a board in terms of how we’re going to respond to this specific long-term challenge.”

The residential tax rate increase is part of the budget package the Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 to approve. Supervisor Pat Herrity voted against it.

The budget also includes pay increases for most county employees, ranging from 3.25% to 6%, and millions in extra funding for Fairfax County Public Schools.

“I know we will continue to work to identify savings and efficiencies with the tools we have, while also looking to advocate to the state for a more fair and just tax system,” Supervisor Andres Jimenez said at the April 30 meeting. “It is obvious that we will not be able to count on real estate and property tax to get out of our main issues.”

Initially, County Executive Bryan Hill proposed a 4-cent increase to the residential tax rate.

“Like probably all local jurisdictions or most local jurisdictions in this country, we’re moving into an era where we’re going to have to figure out how to do more with less, because that commercial office market is not going to recover in a year or in two years,” Supervisor James Walkinshaw said.

Supervisor Dalia Palchik said the county relies on real estate taxes to fund 66% of its budget.

“That is becoming harder and harder for so many in our community,” she said.

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Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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