Tax Relief, Affordable Housing, Public Safety Compensation
Among FY 2023 Budget Mark-Up Changes                                   April 27, 2022

TAX RELIEF
In total, more than $199 million in revenue reductions or “unrecognized” revenue are included in the budget to support tax relief, including the new $1.11 tax rate. The change results in a revenue decrease of more than $88 million. With the rate reduction offset by rising property value assessments, the average tax bill will increase by $465 or 6.7 percent over last year.

Additional tax relief measures by the board include assessing vehicles at 85% of market value. This change to personal property or “car” tax assessments will save taxpayers a total of almost $98 million. High consumer demand for new and used cars, and low supply due to the pandemic, have driven vehicle values up on average by 33% since Jan. 1.

To help businesses like craft breweries and other small-scale producers, the board also cut the Machinery and Tools Tax by more than half, and recommended accelerating the depreciation on tools and equipment for the first time since 2004. The rate was slashed from $4.57 to $2 per $100 of assessed value, for a total of $1 million in tax relief.

The board also recently expanded the tax relief program for seniors and people with disabilities, including increasing income and asset limits, which is estimated to make an additional 2,000 residents eligible for the program.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
In keeping with their doubled goal of 10,000 net new affordable housing units by 2034, the board has committed additional funding including a $2 million balance from the FY 2022 Third Quarter Review and an additional $10 million on top of the $5 million increase included in the FY 2023 Advertised Budget. This increased investment was possible through collaboration with the Fairfax County Public Schools on this joint priority. The FY 2023 budget allocates $44.7 million in total for this goal, including $29.7 million in baseline county funds and $15 million allocated from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

PARKS
In addition to feedback on the need for tax relief, many residents testified during the budget public hearings about the importance of the county’s parks system. The board has provided significant resources for the Fairfax County Park Authority, and the mark-up package includes an additional $751,954 for new positions and other support for natural resources sustainability efforts. In their budget guidance, the board has also directed staff to work closely with FCPA to develop a 2026 referendum that meets the parks system’s needs and fits within overall county limitations. The budget guidance also provides direction on the use of a $500,000 allocation from the Advertised Budget package for a pilot equity program. Extensive community outreach and consultative support will be utilized to develop and implement the pilot.

PUBLIC SAFETY
To address retention, recruitment and compression issues felt significantly across uniformed public safety positions, the mark-up package includes an additional $6,103,382 to advance eligible uniformed employees one additional step on their respective pay plans. The adjustment almost exclusively benefits employees at the first two steps on their pay plans. In total, eligible public safety employees who also qualify for an FY 2023 step or longevity increase will see total increases of up to 14.01% in FY 2023.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING
The mark-up package also includes $825,000 for contract rate increases for direct service providers in health and human services, representing a 50% increase from the increase included in the Advertised Budget. This adjustment will help to address the concerns raised by non-profits during budget testimony regarding rising personnel and operating costs.

Also in the approved package is $250,000 for ArtsFairfax to supplement the organization’s existing grant program and assist arts organizations that have been impacted by the pandemic. Budget guidance urges the organization to focus outreach efforts to include organizations that have been historically underrepresented.

The package also provides an additional $180,000 and one new position for the Department of Economic Initiatives to develop a platform to assist small businesses in navigating available resources to help them succeed.

For more information visit the Department of Management and Budget.


Quick Summary

  • Real Estate Tax Rate reduced from $1.14 to $1.11 per $100 of assessed value.
     
  • FY 2023 Budget allocates $44.7 million for Affordable Housing, including $10 million added in mark-up.
     
  • Pay step added for uniformed public safety employees to address retention, recruitment, compression.


March 10, 2022

Real Estate Tax Assessments
UP 10.24% in Annandale

Taxes Up Up and Away!

The frenzied purchasing of residential real estate during and mostly because of Covid, has driven residential real estate prices so high as not to be sustainable.  If you were one of the many who did not change homes in the past  few years, you are going to face this rapid assessment increase without any benefit.  Every 7-8 years a real estate cycle is all but predictable.  Prices go up, then they remain relatively level and then they fall.  Mortgage interest rates are rising which will likely discourage some buyers and eliminate others cooling the temporary fevered pitch of the market.  In the meantime, assessments rise without any digestible relief in the tax rate.  Homeowners, funding the majority of county spending, will again see their wallets emptied without realizing any tangible gain in government services.  Over the past year county coffers swelled with Covid funds and significantly higher real estate tax collection.  Since counties are required to zero out their budgets each year, spending became epidemic.  Now is the time for the county to curb spending on their want list and focus on the NEED list freeing up funds to give the tax payer a much deserved break with a substantial drop in the tax rate.

Do the simple math for yourself. Annandale is experiencing a higher than county average increase.  Look at last year’s assessment and increase it by 10.24% or wait for your assessment which should be arriving soon.  First, sit down and take a deep breath then do the math.
 
(Assessed Value ÷ 100) × 2022 Proposed Base Tax Rate of $1.140 = Your Tax Amount)


TAX RATES NEARBY
Arlington County
Assessed values increased by 5.8% Tax Rate 1.013 / $100 assessed value
City of Alexandria
Assessed values increased by 5.36% Tax Rate 1.110 / $100 of assessed value
Fairfax County
Assessed values increased by 9.57% (average) Tax Rate 1.140 / $100 of assessed value


Almost 357,000 updated 2022 real estate assessments notices are being mailed to all property owners. Based on equalization changes according to the county (market-driven value increases or decreases), countywide residential real estate assessments are up an average of 9.57%, with the average assessment for all homes at $668,974. In 2021, the countywide average home assessment was $610,545.

In 2021, residential housing prices increased in most areas of the county because of record low interest rates, low housing inventory and high demand. Retail, apartment, hotel and industrial properties also increased in value, but high-rise offices declined in value as remote work continues to be the norm.

92% OF HOME VALUES ARE UP

Of the total number of residential properties, 92% increased in value due to equalization which is market-driven increases or decreases in value. Only 2.8% saw a decrease in value, and assessments are unchanged for the remaining 5.2%.

The breakdown of average home assessments is shown below.  Please note that averages are not necessarily indicative of individual properties or neighborhoods.

  • Condominiums – $320,940, up 3.98%
  • Single-family detached homes – $807,450, up 10.86%
  • Townhouse/duplex properties – $501,743, up 8.70%

Meanwhile, non-residential real estate values (commercial, industrial and rental apartments) increased by 2.27% on average.  Overall, of the 356,967 taxable parcels in Fairfax County:  334,334 have an assessment change.

WHY YOUR ASSESSMENT MAY HAVE CHANGED

There are several factors that affect real estate assessments:

  • Sales in the neighborhood.
  • Economic factors such as average number of days homes have been for sale and sales volume.
  • Improvements to the property (remodeling, additions).
  • New construction and rezoning.
  • Property characteristics, such as size, age, condition and amenities.

Sarcastically tax payers are told they can always appeal their real estate assessment.  Good luck even if you can get through to a county office in real time.  Lowering the assessment which is based on 100% of market valuations, is not only teeth chattering difficult but rarely possible nor will you see those assessments roll back in a bad market.  The only thing your elected officials can do for you is to LOWER the tax rate itself.  As noted above, Fairfax County has a very high rate.


Address your concerns and encourage these elected officials to SUBSTANTIALLY lower the real estate tax rate:

Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross
703-256-7717    
mason@fairfaxcounty.gov

Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw
703-425-9300       
braddock@fairfaxcounty.gov 

Chairman Board of Supervisors Jeff McKay
703-324-2321

chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov


 2022 Real Estate Increases in Assessments

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