Annandale, VA: Real Estate in Annandale

 

BRACE FOR IMPACT
Fairfax County has announced their countywide tax assessments.

County Tax Assessments

Fairfax County has announced that their countywide tax assessments are now available online and are being mailed to homes and businesses.  The tax rate has not yet been determined but after last year’s whopping increase in both rate AND in assessed value, taxpayers had better brace for impact. Residential assessments in Annandale rose an average of 1.32 percent.  Higher assessments are recorded for Fairfax, Falls Church, Burke, and Springfield.   A decline in assessed value is recorded for Oakton, Reston, Great Falls and McLean.

From all reports, the citizens of Fairfax County have had ENOUGH.  Constant increases in both the tax rate and in the property assessments has stretched family budgets beyond their limit.  Sky rocketing taxes are driving both the young first time buyers, and the elderly from the county.  Soon, even the higher middle incomes will be crying UNCLE.  There is a tax calculator available at  www.fairfaxcounty.gov/taxcalc that will show you how your required tax contribution will be allocated across county expenditures.  The visual impact of the displayed pie chart will say more than figures ever can.

Here are the highlights:

Schools58% of the County Budget for the purpose listed just here: Funds for the operating, maintaining and supporting the instructional programs of the Fairfax County School System.  This huge sum of almost $2.2 billion does NOT include many other fees transferred to the schools under other line items. 

It is time for the county to hire independent auditors to evaluate the school budget as well as its relationship and fairness to the entire county budget, and earnestly listen to their teachers who have numerous ideas on how to achieve a quality education for their students while saving money.  As of now, teachers will speak privately but are afraid of reprisals if they speak openly.  Isn't it time for that to change? 

Public Safety Includes – 11.8% of the County Budget:  The Police Dept., Fire and Rescue Department, Office of the Sheriff, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, Office of Emergency Management, Department of Cable and Consumer Services, Land Development Services, and the Department of Code Compliance.

Health and Welfare – 11% of the County Budget:  Department of Family Services, Department of Administration for Human Services Agency, Health Department, Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. 

Non-Departmental Benefits – 8.9% of the County Budget:  Unclassified Administrative Expenses and Employee Benefits, Reserves for the General Fund, and fringe benefits paid by the county.  (That is about as non- specific and illusive as possible.)

Transfers – 4% of the County Budget:  County portion of payments for Metro operations and construction, repair, maintenance, replacement and rehabilitation of equipment & facilities.

Debt Service – 3.4% of the County Budget:  Remember when you voted on all those bonds last November and in each and every election cycle before?   None of those bonds, regardless of how excited citizens might be to see money allocated to parks, libraries, schools or roads comes free.  Debt Service is quite simply the county’s obligations to pay off the bonds (Think of bonds as loans or credit cards. These multiple bonds strewn down the ballot are NOT free, so the next time you are asked to vote on scores of millions of dollars for various projects, remember that you and your children, possibly even your grand children, will be paying them off through your real estate taxes for decades to come.)  Below is a break-down of some debt being addressed this year.  Notice that in addition to the 52.7% of the entire county budget that has already been allocated to the Fairfax County School System, here is more money going toward the schools….and there are more school related expenditures hidden within other line items throughout the budget.  More details can be found online at:  www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2017/adopted/volume2/20000.pdf

Consolidated County and Schools Debt Service Fund

County Debt Service                                                                                   $101,220,109
Lease Revenue Bonds                                                                                    32,206,726
Park Authority (Laurel Hill Golf Course)                                                                829,299
Fiscal Agent Fees/Cost of Issuance                                                                  2,100,000
Subtotal County                                                                                        $136,356,134.00

 

School Debt Service                                                                                     $174,655,478
Lease Revenue Bonds (South County High School)                                          4,644,207
School Administration Building                                                                            3,466,725
(These are the swanky buildings where the School Administration works
and were bought for tens of millions while thousands of students are
educated in trailers.)
Fiscal Agent Fees/Cost of Issuance                                                                    1,400,000
Subtotal Schools                                                                                        $ 184,166,400.00

 

Central Support Service – 2% of the County Budget:  The Legislative Executive Functions/Central Services Program Area consists of 13 agencies that are responsible for a variety of function including oversight and direction to ensure that County Services are provided efficiently and effectively to the population of Fairfax County.  You can review the details at:  www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2017/adopted/volume1/leg_exec_pa.pdf

Public Works – 1.9% of the County Budget:  They are responsible for building County infrastructure such as administrative buildings, police and fire stations, libraries, recreation centers, courts, bus shelters and some road improvements.  They then operate and maintain each of these facilities, manage a renewal program to ensure that these assets are protected.  These public works are usually funded through bonds.

Parks and Libraries – 1.3% of the County Budget:  Self-explanatory. Some professional county employees at each facility, but a great deal of the labor is provided by volunteers.

Community Development – 1.3% of the County Budget:   According to the county, these agencies are committed to maintaining Fairfax County as a desirable place to work, live, and play.  Departments included are the Economic Development Authority, the Land Development Services, Dept. of Planning and Zoning, Planning Commission, Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs.   

Judicial Administration - .9% of the County Budget:  Circuit Court and Records, Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, General District County and the Office of the Sheriff.  This does not include building or maintenance of facilities but at .9% of the County Budget, it seems a bargain.

Legislative/ Executive Functions - .8% of the County Budget:   Description is very similar to the Central Support Service listed above. In fact, you are directed to the exact same page and pdf.  Decipher for yourself at: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2017/adopted/volume1/leg_exec_pa.pd

 

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