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Fairfax Taxpayers Can Tell Supervisors How to Spend $60M Surplus

Public Hearing in September

Come September, Fairfax County taxpayers can tell the Board of Supervisors how they would like to spend an extra $60 million that has flowed into county coffers.

Where did the money come from? The county collected more in taxes than anticipated and spent less than had been budgeted to run the county.

This money is called a carryover. Dranesville Supervisor John Foust said the county always has a carryover at the end of a fiscal year because it conservatively estimates revenues.

"We have this surplus – what do we do with it?" Foust asked. "We've been fortunate that we didn't get hit as hard as the rest of the country," Foust said.

The county adopted a $6.1 billion budget in April for the 2012 fiscal year that started July 1. When the county closed its books on the 2011 fiscal year, it found it had collected nearly $50 million in taxes (sales and personal property taxes) and spent nearly $70 less than budgeted.

None of this affects property taxes. The Board of Supervisors lowered the property tax rate from $1.09 per $100 of assessed value to $1.07 per $100 of assessed value. It's an election year.

County Executive Anthony Griffin told the supervisors, "the combined revenue and disbursement balance, after funding obligations and Managed Reserve is $59.25 million."

"The county is fortunate that FY 2011 revenue came in higher than anticipated," Griffin said in his message to the supervisors.

Some of the extra money is already committed: Nearly $12 million to give county employees a 1.5 percent pay raise – their first since 2009. The county executive also wants to save nearly $25 million for the 2013 budget.

The county executive has given the supervisors a proposal for how to spend the rest of the $60 million.

If you want to share your ideas with the Supervisors: A public hearing will be held in the board auditorium of the Fairfax County Government Center on Sept. 13, at 10:45 a.m. All those wishing to present their views on these subjects may call the Office of the Clerk to the Board at (703) 324-3151 to be placed on the speakers list.

You can find the public hearing notice and pore over all the numbers here.

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