Gross: Fairfax Will Advertise $1.12 Tax Rate Hike Tuesday to Kick Off Budget Talks

Fairfax County Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason District) told the News-Press in an interview today that the Fairfax County Board will likely vote to advertise a tax rate of $1.12 per $100 real estate assessed valuation at its meeting Tuesday, giving it flexibility to add back as much as $56 million to the austerity budget recommended by County Executive Anthony Griffin last month.

The final decision on the tax rate and Board’s budget priorities will not be made until the end of April, however, and the advertisement of the $1.12 will bind the Board not to exceed that rate.

“I am not uncomfortable with that ($1.12) as the upper range” for a new tax rate, Gross told the News-Press today. A penny on the tax rate is equivalent to $18.67 million, and $1.12 is three cents higher than the $1.07 rate recommended by Griffin. The current rate in the county is $1.03, and with annual assessments indicating a decline in real estate values, even with Griffin’s proposed $1.07 rate, the average tax payment would go down in the county.   By advertising $1.12 on Tuesday the County Board will allow itself some flexibility without promising if it will or won’t raise the rate to that level.