The Board has responded to the shift in our economy by relying increasingly on Fairfax County homeowners to shoulder the tax burden. In FY2016, Fairfax County homeowners will pay on average over $800 more in property taxes than they did in FY2013. This represents a 17% increase in the last 3 years; a period in which family incomes have been virtually stagnant.
Despite these tax increases, our County finances are deteriorating. The County Executive has warned of a $107 million deficit in FY2017, and the Superintendent is projecting another $100 million deficit for the public schools. Combined, the Board of Supervisors has over a $200 million budget deficit to solve. Additionally, the County’s triple-A bond rating, the credit score used to determine interest rates on bonds, has been officially placed on “Negative Outlook” by one of the rating agencies. Despite serious future budgetary challenges and recent tax increases, the Board of Supervisors decided to give themselves a 27% pay raise. I would not have supported this pay raise.
As Supervisor, I will apply my extensive business experience to ensure that County taxpayers get maximum return on their tax dollars. I will eliminate waste wherever I find it, and hold my fellow Supervisors and County agencies accountable for results. I will put taxpayers first by setting priorities, making tough funding decisions, opposing burdensome tax increases, and protecting our triple-A bond rating by boosting reserve funds.
Throughout my career, I have demonstrated a strong ability for collaborative leadership – bringing both sides to the table to solve tough problems. Addressing our financial challenges will require just that. When elected, I will call for more public meetings of the Board’s Budget Committee to allow adequate time and effort to properly address our financial challenges. I will also call for regular, biennial line item reviews of the budget to enable proper determination of our program effectiveness.