- The Washington Times - Monday, February 23, 2004

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin yesterday presented a $2.73 billion spending plan for fiscal 2005, which is more dependent than ever on residential property taxes.

For the fourth consecutive year, the county’s only growing revenue source is real estate taxes on homes. Those taxes will account for more than 60 percent of the county’s total revenue base.

Mr. Griffin, who presented the budget to the county Board of Supervisors, said this year’s budget process “represents both a challenge and an opportunity to look at the county’s budget and service beyond just the next year, but from a broader, multiyear perspective.”

Assessments were mailed yesterday to county property owners, 97 percent of whom face increases. The majority of residential properties had their assessments jump as much as 15 percent — though in some cases, the assessments have skyrocketed more than 30 percent.

County officials said a typical household would have a $4,147 property-tax bill, up $421.

The property tax rate is $1.16 per $100 of assessed value, which Mr. Griffin, who was appointed by the supervisors in 2000, proposes to keep steady.

County public schools account for nearly half the budget. The $1.32 billion in school spending is up $81.5 million from fiscal 2004.

Fairfax Connector bus fares would go up, and there would be increases for residents who require county trash collection.

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