26 February 1997 Sully District Council Meeting
by Jeff Parnes
- The Fiscal Year 1998 Budget was the main item of discussion.
- The Board of Supervisors wants to limit growth in county expenditures and school transfer to the projected increase in county revenues. The two overriding considerations are the fact that only modest revenue growth is projected for the remainder of the decade, and that many of the budget decisions made in past years set the framework for this' and future years' budgets.
- The although the Board of Supervisors's heard the results of the Peat Marwick efficiency and restructuring study in 1997, it was received too late in the budget process be included in FY 1998 budget. The Board established the following guidelines for reviewing the study:
- Maintain "premier" Fairfax County
- Reorganize in a humane manner without degrading county services.
- Eliminate mid-management and increase span of control where possible.
- Implement in concert with other re-engineering efforts.
- From 1980-1991 the county's general fund revenue increased an average of 12.2% per year. In 1992, it decreased by 1%, and since then the increases have ranged between 1.6% to 5%, with a 3.7% increase projected for 1998. Any revenue growth will be constrained by moderate increases in the real estate tax base. The percentages projected for the rest of the decade remain in the 4%-5% range.
- The bulk of the county revenues, 71.6% ($1.25 billion), comes from real estate ($893 million) and personal property ($338 million) taxes. Other sources include other local taxes: 16.7% ($292 million); the state 4.1% ($72.4 million); revenue from the use of money and property: 2.3%
(39.8 million); charges for services: 1.6% ($28.1 million); permits, fees and regulatory licenses: 1.5% (25.7 million) and the federal government 1.5%: ($25.5 million). The total county general fund receipts total $1.747 billion.
- Real estate tax revenues will increase by 2.7%, with new construction contributing 1.9% and equalization of existing structures .80% (residential -.50% and non-residential 5.0%). In the last seven years both residential and nonresidential real estate values have decreased in all but two years. Total real estate tax revenues have only increased in the last four years.
- Based on the above funding information, the 1998 budget required balancing of the overall funding requirements against targeted levels of growth mandated by the Board of Supervisors's guidelines. The budget is best described as a "maintenance of effort."
- Since 1991 the number of county employees has decreased from 11,332 to 10,719. The county abolished 1728 positions, added 407 to support new facilities and 708 to support growth in population driven workload, for a total decrease of 613 positions.
- Combined general fund disbursements total $1.769 billion with the bulk of the funds 50.7% ($897.3) going to the school system ($819.7 for operations and $77.6 for debt service). Other disbursements include public safety: 11.6% ($204.8 million), health and welfare: 9.0% ($159.9 million), other transfers (Metro, county transit, etc.): 6.4% ($112.5 million), nondepartmental (employee benefits): 6.1% ($107.4 million), county debt: 5.3% ($93.9 million) and other categorized expenses: 10.9% ($193.2 million).
- The school transfer increased by 4% over last year. The school board had asked for a 4.6% increase, leaving them with a total shortfall of $4.8 million from the requested funding. The Board of Supervisors would have to raise the real estate rate by 1¢ or decrease other funding to fully fund the school board's request.
- The next item on the agenda was the proposed modification of the county's comprehensive plan to reflect adjusted airport noise contours. The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority realigned the noise contours surrounding Dulles Airport. The increasing frequency of flights and the use of quieter engines are the main reasons for this change.
- The county previously restricted construction of residences in a contour defined by a day night level (dnl) 65 dba. This contour has been tightened around the airport so that additional residences could be built closer than they were before.
- A citizen task force recommended that the noise contour line of dnl 60 dba be used to restrict residential construction instead of the reduced dnl 65 dba contour. The Planning Commission held a public hearing in early March and the Board will make a decision late in March.
- Areas to the east of the airport are not effected by these changes, while to the south the contours now go due south from the runways rather than swerving to the southwest as the old contours did.
- The Land Use and Transportation committee reported on its February meeting. At that meeting two presentations were made. One was on a seniors residence planned south of Route 29 near Fairfax City and the other on a proposed redevelopment of the area between Thompson Road and West Ox Road (see minutes of the February meeting previously provided).
Sully District Council Minutes
Land Use & Transportation Committee Minutes