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Fairfax County Budget Hearings Start Tuesday

The first of three public hearings on FY 2014 plan is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday. Speakers can sign up in advance.

A series of public hearings on Fairfax County’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget package will kick off Tuesday evening, giving residents a chance to advocate for changes to funding allocations and other issues.

County Executive Ed Long’s advertised $7 billion budget, unveiled in late February, proposes raising the county's real estate tax rate and making cuts to some county programs and services in an effort to close shortfalls.

The 2-cent increase in the real estate tax rate, from $1.075 per $100 of assessed value to $1.095, is expected to raise approximately $42 million in revenues. But on top of new, higher real estate assessments, the increase would burden the average resident with approximately $262 more in taxes each year.

Some officials have said the tax rate is too much, especially when it’s added to a host of other taxes that could kick in this year.

Residents in the Tysons Transportation Service District will have to pay anywhere from $0.04 to $0.09 more per $100 of assessed value in order help pay for roads in the county’s new walkable downtown 40 years from now. The district advisory board last week recommended a rate that starts low and gradually rises, instead of a higher, steady rate. The Board of Supervisors will consider the recommendations before making a final decision.

Additionally, Gov. Bob McDonnell’s historic transportation bill, HB 2313, would raise sales taxes and other fees in order collect money for much-needed road improvements in the Commonwealth.

Long’s budget cuts some funding from parks and libraries, limiting maintenance to athletic courts and the number of titles that will be available to readers.

Residents have been vocal in their support for parks and libraries, but library officials say they’re prepared for cuts should supervisors approve them.

The first budget hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Board Auditorium at Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035.

Residents who wish to speak at the hearings can sign up here or call 703-324-3151, TTY 703-324-3903, prior to noon on the same day to be placed on the list.

Residents can also sign up for the hearings on Wednesday and Thursday. Both begin at 3 p.m.

For the county’s full budget schedule, click here

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