Archive: Economy, Taxes

State Offers Free Mortgage Clinics

As part of a state-wide initiative to curb home foreclosures, the Virginia Forclosure Prevention Taskforce will be conducting free mortgage-assistance clinics in Chantilly and Woodbridge. Check out this story from today's Fairfax Extra for all of the details....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 29, 2008; 11:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Plan to Help First-Time Home Buyers in the Works

Called the Silver Lining program, the effort could provide up to $6.4 million over the next two years to help middle income professionals purchase their first homes in Fairfax County by helping them get cut rates on foreclosed houses. Read more in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 20, 2008; 09:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Unemployment Up Here

While still below the national average, Northern Virginia's rate of joblessness is up more than 25% over last year's figures according to the latest numbers. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 15, 2008; 05:08 PM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Property Tax Rate to Rise

From today's Metro section: The Falls Church City Council has approved a $76.4 million budget that raises the property tax rate 2 cents for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The new rate is $1.03 for each $100 of assessed value. However, city officials said in a statement, because of declines in property assessments, the median tax bill for the owner of a single-family home will decline $174. Other tax rates will stay the same. New construction and growth in the value of commercial real estate will yield an increase of 3.5 percent in overall property tax revenue, officials said....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 30, 2008; 09:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 4/29: Budget Passes Amidst Criticism From Teachers

Updated 4/29 The Board of Supervisors passed the county budget yesterday amidst criticism from teachers who say they fear that their cost of living salary increase may be reduced. The article is here. Updated 4/22 The Board of Supervisors passed the rate increase yesterday. The news is here. Updated 4/21 The three cent property tax increase isn't going to fix the county's budget problems all by itself according to this analysis in yesterday's Metro section. Originally posted 4/7 According to this story from Sunday's Metro section, the property tax rate in Fairfax County is likely to rise by three cents in response to the county's budget woes and what some members of the Board of Supervisors say is a public demand to maintain services. The final budget for the next fiscal year is scheduled to be adopted April 21....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 29, 2008; 09:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Pay Raises Fall Short, Say County Employees

According to this article from today's Metro section, the merit pay increases that county employees have been receiving are declining. With next year's likely to be "the worst budget in Fairfax County history" according to County Executive Anthony H. Griffin, the situation doesn't seem like it will improve. The workers aren't happy....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 17, 2008; 09:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 4/1: Affordable Housing Proposal Advances

Updated 4/1 The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors agreed yesterday to explore the possibility of buying foreclosed properties and converting them into affordable housing by selling them at below-market prices to qualified families. The board's chairman, Gerald E. Connolly (D), suggested the idea in his annual State of the County address Friday. Although two Republicans on the board opposed the proposal, Connolly and his seven Democratic colleagues supported it. -- Amy Gardner Total of Homeless Residents Up Slightly Fairfax County and the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax counted a total of 1,835 homeless residents in January, up slightly from 1,813 in 2007. The annual count includes people who live on the street, in shelters or in transitional housing. The number of homeless families was 311, up from 307, according to survey released yesterday. Nearly 60 percent of all homeless people were in families, with 66 percent of adults in...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 1, 2008; 09:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

Needed Work on County Bldgs Running Far Behind

With about 170 government buildings to take care of, Fairfax County has a big maintenance job to do even in the best of times. But with the money in shorter supply, repairs to county facilities are one more thing the county is struggling harder to keep up with. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 27, 2008; 12:51 PM ET | Email a Comment

16% Tax Hike Sought in Fairfax City

From today's Metro section: Fairfax City Manager Robert Sisson has proposed a $128.8 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The financial plan includes a 16 percent increase in the real estate tax rate and a 7 percent boost in water and sewer rates. Sisson said the increases are necessary because of the drop in revenue caused by the downturn in the residential real estate market and by the sluggish economy. Spending would rise 3.7 percent over this year's if the City Council approves Sisson's plan. Under the proposal, the real estate tax rate would rise from 72 cents for each $100 of assessed value to 83.5 cents. Ambulance fees would also go up, according to the plan....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 13, 2008; 10:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

Property Tax Increase Ahead?

The county's Board of Supervisors agreed yesterday to consider a tax rate increase of three cents to 92 cents per $100 of assessed value as it begins deliberating its spending proposals. Read more in this article from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 11, 2008; 09:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 3/3: County to Recalculate Home Assessments

Updated 3/3 According to this story in Saturday's paper, the county will recalculate the value of homeowners' properties. But the bottom line won't change. Only shifts between allocations of the the land value and the house of a property's overall value will be affected. The total taxable value of the property will remain the same. Originally posted 2/29 In Fairfax County, some homeowners are facing a perplexing reality when they read their latest property assessments: Home values are still down, but the value of the land under the houses is escalating. Read more about it in this article from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 29, 2008; 11:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Considers Pooling to Pay Retirement Benefits

Facing the prospect of big payouts to future and current retirees, the county government is looking at creating an investment pool with other Virginia local governments to save money. Read the article in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 8, 2008; 12:16 PM ET | Email a Comment

New Taxes

Make sure to read this article from today's Fairfax Extra to learn about the seven new taxes that went into effect locally jan. 1. The money will go toward congestion relief and transportation projects....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 3, 2008; 11:49 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/13: Transportation Funding Tax Finds Mixed Results

Updated 12/13 More on the growing concern about the state's transportation funding package is in today's Metro section. Originally posted 12/4 In the struggle to generate income for state road projects, Fairfax and Arlington counties might tax commercial property at a lower rate than initially planned. Prince William and Loudoun counties have already decided to reject the tax spelling possible trouble for the transportation funding agreement. Read about it in this story from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 09:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Faces Budget Crisis

A shortfall of about $220 million faces the Fairfax County government according to this article from the front page of today's Washington Post. The crunch, which stems from the housing slump, could last several years and affect a range of county services and programs. So what gets cut? Let's hear what readers of Focus on Fairfax would do if you had to make the hard choices that face county leaders....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 12, 2007; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 9/11: Supervisors Vote For Commercial Tax Increase

Updated 9/11 The Board of Supervisors yesterday voted unanimously for the tax increase, the first step to securing the new funding. The news is in today's Metro section. Originally published 8/8 The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote next month on whether to make the county the first Northern Virginia County to take advantage of a provision in the transportation agreement passed in the General Assembly in April and raise taxes on commercial property to fund transportation projects. Today's Metro section has the details....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 11, 2007; 09:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Housing Slump Hurts Fairfax Coffers

A potential budget shortfall of $120 million dollars has Fairfax County officials struggling to fund all of its government programs. The poor real estate market is driving down revenue to its lowest point in 15 years and accounts for most of the problem which could particularly affect county school budgets. A news story is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 7, 2007; 09:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

Court Backing Asked on New Taxes for Transportation

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is asking a judge to quickly rule on the legality of the authority's plan to impose new taxes and fees in January that would help to fund projects like a new interchange on the Fairfax County Parkway. More information is in in this article from Saturday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | July 16, 2007; 10:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Board Approves $1 Per Trip for Rising Fuel Costs

From today's Metro section: Starting today, taxicab customers will pay an additional $1 a trip in Fairfax County to help taxi companies bear the rising cost of fuel. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the surcharge yesterday on an emergency basis and made it effective through Aug. 6. The board agreed to hold a public hearing Aug. 6 on whether to extend the surcharge through January. The supervisors enacted the surcharge at the request of Murphy Brothers Inc., owner of Falls Church Yellow Cab and Red Top Cab. -- Amy Gardner...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 19, 2007; 10:22 AM ET | Email a Comment

Immigration and Overcrowded Houses

This front page article in yesterday's paper on neighborhood disputes over overcrowded houses in Fairfax County has spawned a spirited discussion with people from Fairfax, the Washington region and elsewhere in the country, joining in by posting comments about the problem. Focus on Fairfax invites readers to continue the discussion here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 14, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Budget Set For Approval Next Week

With final approval of the next year's Fairfax County budget scheduled for next week, members of the Board of Supervisors, including Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock, who called the budget process "the quietest, least contentious in my 20 years in office," are marveling at the the lack of rancor the procedings engendered. The story is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 24, 2007; 09:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

Taxes Go Up in NoVa, including cities; not county

While Fairfax County is an exception, taxes in many Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church are going up. Read about what the housing slump is doing to the local tax rates in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 16, 2007; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Cities' Budget Proposal Highlights

Check out this story from the Fairfax Extra to see highlights from the recently issued budget proposals from Falls Church and the City of Fairfax....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 22, 2007; 02:42 PM ET | Email a Comment

$124 Million Budget Offered for Fairfax City

From today's Metro section: Fairfax City Manager Robert Sisson has proposed a $124.3 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 that includes increases in taxes and fees. Sisson asked the City Council on Tuesday for a 3-cent increase in the city's real estate tax rate, to 74 cents per $100 of assessed value. He also proposed a doubling of the meals tax to 4 percent and a 3 percent increase in water and sewer rates. If approved by the council, the budget would increase spending by 5.1 percent over the current fiscal year. -- Bill Turque...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 08:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax By The Numbers

Today's Fairfax Extra offers a package of stories based on some numbers that impact county citizens lives, beginning with this look at the spending plan driving the $3.3 billion 2008 budget. The print edition of the Extra also has a map and graph with information about about property assessments. If your curious here is how your bill was calculated and here is information about what to do if you don't agree with it or have other questions. Finally we offer a collection of numbers that reflect things as diverse as the number of library cards issued in the county to the number of dollars collected by the county for massage therapy permits....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 8, 2007; 12:42 PM ET | Email a Comment

Growing Numbers of Homeless, Impoverished Despite Economy

The job market in Northern Virginia relies heavily on government contract workers. But the capricious nature of those jobs and the high cost of living here can make poverty and homelessness a real risk for some living close to the edge. Read about one such couple in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 27, 2007; 09:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

Home Assessments Fall--First Time in Nine Years

This front page article from this morning's Washington Post carries the news that for the first time since 1998, the average home assessment in Fairfax County has fallen. Most residents can expect slightly lower property tax bills than those they received last year. Meanwhile the county government is figuring out how to continue to fund its budget with less money....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 27, 2007; 09:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Budget Proposal is for $3.3 Billion

A budget for fiscal year 2008 of $3.3 billion , an increase of 1.34 over the fiscal year 2007 revised budget plan, was proposed to the Board of Supervisors by Anthony H. Griffin, the county executive today. Also today, the county said it began mailing assessments to property owners, and the majority of residential properties decreased or showed no change in value. The overall equalization change for residential property was .33 percent. Commercial properties showed an overall equalization increase of 13.57 percent. Assessments by area showed a range of increases from an average rise in Lorton of 2.59 percent to an average decrease in Fairfax Station of 3.05 percent. Details on the budget and on assessments will appears in tomorrow's editions of The Washington Post and in the March 8 issue of the Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 26, 2007; 12:49 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Jobs Growth Far Ahead of Other Jurisdiictions

According to this article from today's Washington Post, officials at the Bureau of Labor Statistics are stunned at how much Fairfax has pulled away from the pack of other local jurisdictions in terms of job growth. Read about it here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 30, 2007; 09:19 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax 2nd Richest County in Nation; Loudoun 1st

Our neighbors in Loudoun. Together with Howard, Montgomery and Prince William counties, Loudoun and Fairfax combine to make the Washington suburbs the wealthiest of any major metropolitan area in the U.S. And the federal money that has flowed into local economies for defense and homeland security in the wake of 9/11 plays a big part. The Post's front page story is here. But all those jobs come with a dark side according to this companion A1 article that says Washington's outer suburbs are home to commuters with the second-longest daily drives in the U.S....

 

By | August 30, 2006; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

8/29 UPDATE: New Wrinkle for Tyson's Metro Tunnel?

Updated 8/29 According to this article some Tysons Corner neighborhood groups like the idea of the tunnel but are expressing serious concerns about the potential costs and the effects a tunnel might have. Updated 8/18 From today's Metro section: More Toll Road Money Coveted Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) said that one possible source of additional funding for a rail tunnel at Tysons Corner would be the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the revenue it will collect from the Dulles Toll Road. Virginia officials are deciding whether the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport should run above or below ground through Tysons. Most agree that a tunnel would be better, but it is unclear how to cover its extra costs, at least $200 million. Connolly's remarks in an interview Wednesday on Washington Post Radio represented one of the first public suggestions that extra money could...

 

By | August 29, 2006; 10:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

Bigger Questions on Tysons Redevelopment/Rail

With all of the the discussion about the specifics of extending Metrorail through Tysons Corner and redeveloping the area into a walkable downtown for Fairfax County, are some bigger questions getting overlooked? Is the plan to remake Tysons feasible? Is it even desirable? This article from yesterday's Metro section takes a closer look at the big questions local officials face as decision time on what to do draws near....

 

By | August 21, 2006; 10:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/14: FEMA Denies Fairfax Flood Aid

Updated 8/14 From Saturday's Metro section: FEMA Again Denies Aid Virginia officials announced yesterday that the state has lost its appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for flood aid to 13 communities that suffered storm damage in late June. Without explanation, FEMA denied Virginia's appeal of the agency's decision last month turning down emergency aid the state had requested for the communities, including Fairfax and Arlington counties and the city of Alexandria. The state had hoped FEMA would grant low-interest loans, cash grants, unemployment assistance and temporary housing to residents whose homes were flooded, including 150 in the Huntington neighborhood of Fairfax that suffered severe damage. Local officials and members of Virginia's congressional delegation were furious that the aid was denied, and they wrote letters to FEMA in protest as Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced the appeal last week. Yesterday, U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), whose...

 

By | August 14, 2006; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/3: Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 4- Aug.6

Updated 8/3 There is good news for shoppers in this article from this morning's Metro section. Some of the state's larger retailers, including Wal-Mart and Circuit City, plan to extend the tax savings to all of their merchandise, not just school supplies, this weekend Originally posted 6/29 Virginia sales tax (5 percent) on back-to-school items and clothing will be lifted from 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 4 through midnight Sunday, Aug. 6. Today's Fairfax Extra reports that the effort is designed to ease the burden on families with school-age kids. For a complete list of qualified items, visit www.tax.virginia.gov/salestaxholiday....

 

By | August 3, 2006; 09:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Revenue Slowdown Limits Budget Increases

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has announced limited spending increases for next fiscal year, prompted by flatter property tax revenue as the housing market cools. County spending will rise no more than 3 percent, and the public school system -- which accounts for more than half the budget -- will receive a maximum of 4 percent more from the county, the board said yesterday. In previous years, the schools have received annual increases of up to 9 percent. The flattening housing market comes after six years of double-digit property assessment increases in Fairfax and other communities in the region. Fairfax home values soared by an average of 20.5 percent last year, but county officials expect increases of 1 to 3 percent in the coming budget year. -- Lisa Rein...

 

By | August 2, 2006; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Home Sale Prices Drop

Home sale prices in Fairfax County have dropped by as much as two percent in Fairfax in the last year according to data reported in this front page story in today's Washington Post. Have any Focus on Fairfax readers sold a house (or tried to sell a house) in the last year? Share your experience....

 

By | July 26, 2006; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Rapidly Rising Assessments May Be Over

After six years of rapidly increasing housing assessments rates -- Fairfax assessments grew by more than 20% in 2006 -- government officials are predicting that assessments should grow only one to three percentage points in Fairfax County next year. The news is likely to be welcomed by homeowners but will pose challenges for government budgeters. Washingtonpost.com reader, vickreal seems unimpressed. In comments attached to the story, vickreal writes, "To think that N Va municipalities will have to scrape by on a budget that is only about double what it was five years ago brings a tear to my eye." What's your take?...

 

By | July 11, 2006; 10:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Hyland Helped Developer With Tax Break

Have you followed the easement issue? What do you think? Focus on Fairfax posted this item about a court case in which a developer's conservation easement was declared invalid. Sunday's Metro section reports that Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mt. Vernon) aided the developer in seeking federal tax write-offs that went with the easement....

 

By | June 19, 2006; 10:41 AM ET | Email a Comment

$150 Million Bond Referendum Set For November

What do you think of this? The county Board of Supervisors will put this question to the voters on the Nov. 7 election ballot: Should the county sell $150 million dollars in bonds to pay for renovations and more security for police and fire stations, to expand the county animal shelter and to add synthetic turf to athletic fields? Metro section coverage of the board action is here.. There are a couple of questions here and plenty of room for observations....

 

By | June 6, 2006; 10:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

Conservation Easement Tax Break Nixed by Court

In 1999 a real estate company promised not to overly develop land the company owned near George Washington's Historic Mount Vernon estate. In return for the conservation easement the company claimed hundreds of thousand of dollars in tax deductions. Last month the U.S. Tax Court ruled that the land, on which the company had erected 29 large houses, was not eligible for the deduction because the easement "did not protect open space or a historically important land area." A front page Washington Post story from yesterday is here. This is the first time that a court had thrown out such a deduction and the decision is seen as an important one in light of the increasing popularity of conservation easements which are favored by historic and environmental preservation groups and seen by many investors as an attractive way to ease their tax burdens....

 

By | June 5, 2006; 12:17 PM ET | Email a Comment

Reston's New Fees Becoming the Norm for Planned Communities

According to this Metro story from the weekend, the new fees being imposed in Reston and in Prince William County's Lake Ridge community are becoming increasing common as maturing planned communities face rising maintenance costs for their aging facilities....

 

By | May 22, 2006; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tax Assessment Appeals Soar

Loudoun County leads the local area in the number of appeals filed by local homeowners who dispute their 2006 property tax assessments, but a hefty 2,100 appeals were filed in Fairfax County, up from 1,700 last year. Does that number include you? Tell us about your appeal; how you came to the decision to file and if response was quick, good or what....

 

By | May 2, 2006; 11:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Expenses, Supply Flow Delay Some County Building

County governments, including Fairfax's, in the Washington region are facing cost escalations that have them delaying or scaling back many building projects. Read about it in this front page article....

 

By | April 28, 2006; 10:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax: The 2006 Guide

An Introduction To The Guide Trying to make sense of Fairfax? Join our club. To help newcomers learn and old-timers discover new possibilities, here's The Guide for 2006. We know how easy it is to get confused here, because there are about a million people -- more people than seven states have -- and trying to make sense of the governing machinery can be tricky. The local governments include those of the county and two cities, the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church, each with its own idiosyncrasies and treasures. What you'll find in these pages is our attempt to lead you to old favorites you had not thought of for a while or to what might become favorites. There's golfing and fishing and biking and walking, just to name a few leisure pursuits. If you have students in the family, there's a place within the county...

 

By | April 28, 2006; 09:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Spending Plan Approved, Tax Rate Cut

Updated 4/25 Here is the link to today's story on the vote: Salary Talks Dominate Fairfax Planning for 2007 Originally posted 4/24 The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a spending plan that includes one of the lowest property tax rates in the modern history of the county. Vote was 9-1. Even so, the cut will not be enough to offset the increases in assessed values that will have most homeowners paying more in tax again this year. An article from Saturday's paper outlined the plan the Supervisors approved....

 

By | April 24, 2006; 11:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

Reston Approves Revised Charter

Officials with the Reston Association announced yesterday that its members have voted to approve the first revisions to the community's charter in 22 years. The changes include an increase to the cap on the assessment that Reston residents pay annually and a on-time $250 fee for people buy property or move within Reston. Washington Post coverage of the results of the referendum is here....

 

By | April 17, 2006; 01:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

Reality Check on County Trends?

A look at recent historical trends with regard to the county's growth and diversity yields some surprises. Read about them here in this week's Fairfax Extra cover story....

 

By | April 6, 2006; 04:20 PM ET | Email a Comment

A 'Living Wage' for Fairfax?

Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) has introduced a proposal for a  living-wage ordinance. The ordinance  would require county government and private companies that do business with it to pay more than the federal minimum wage. Full-time minimum wage workers earn less than $11,000 a year....

 

By | April 4, 2006; 10:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

Reston Referendum May Miss Quorum

The outlook for Reston Association's four-year effort to revise the community's governing documents for the first time in 22 years is increasingly dim, say association officials. The 60-day voting period on the revisions was scheduled to end today and the number of ballots turned in is still short of the 40% of Reston homeowners required to make it valid....

 

By | March 31, 2006; 11:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

More Time to Dispute Tax Bills

From today's Washington Post: Fairfax County homeowners who are unhappy with their real estate tax assessments have until April 30 to appeal them, the Board of Supervisors decided Monday. The board also said it would consider a system of automatic appeals starting next year for residents whose house values jump by 50 percent or more. As of Friday, 984 homeowners had filed appeals, officials said. -- Lisa Rein...

 

By | March 29, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Changes on the Theater Scene

Focus on Fairfax reported last week on the McLean Community Center's plan to restrict some productions at its Alden Theatre because of a drop in ticket sales. Two of the community theater companies that call the Alden Theatre home, the Great Falls Players and C.A.S.T. in McLean plan to merge. Meanwhile at George Mason University, the school's resident professional company the Theater of the First Amendment will temporarily suspend operations and cancel its 2006-07 season while company leaders try to engineer a viable business model....

 

By | March 17, 2006; 11:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Property Tax Rate Cut in Fairfax City?

From today's Washington Post: Fairfax City Manager Robert Sisson proposes trimming the city's real estate tax rate by 7 cents to contain property taxes. The assessed value of property increased by 21 percent last year. Under the $119.1 million budget proposed for the fiscal year beginning July 1, homeowners would pay 74 cents for each $100 of assessed property value. They now pay 81 cents....

 

By | March 17, 2006; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Assessments Up Everywhere in No. Va.

Fairfax is not the only county facing double digit increases in home assessments. Read ">here for a roundup of other local governments....

 

By Steve Fehr | March 6, 2006; 02:57 PM ET | Email a Comment

Higher Property Tax Bills Coming; Also a 7-Cent Rate Cut

Property tax assessments for Fairfax County homeowners have been mailed out and for a sixth straight year most tax bills will go up. That is despite a 7-cent cut in the tax rate proposed in the budget presented by the County Executive at yesterday's Board of Supervisors meeting. More about taxes and the budget is in this story from today's Metro section. Homeowners can access their assements online here....

 

By | February 28, 2006; 03:30 PM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Assessments Swell

From today's Metro section: Housing values in Falls Church have increased by 13.9 percent in the past year, city officials said yesterday. The median value of a single-family home this year is $649,300. The rise is smaller than that from 2004 to 2005, when residential assessments grew 16.5 percent. Condominiums fueled some of this year's rise, increasing in value by 21.5 percent to a median of $347,700. Falls Church residents who are 65 and older or permanently disabled might be eligible for the city's real-estate tax relief program. For more information, visit http://www.fallschurchva.gov or call 703-248-5005....

 

By | February 22, 2006; 11:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

Please Read: Rules Issued for Commenting on Fairfax Focus Blog

Some readers of this blog have recently raised questions about the role of The Washington Post in policing Fairfax Focus. I have deleted a few blog posts because they did not meet The Post's standards for fairness. For more clarity about how to play by the rules, Jim Brady, the executive editor of washingtonpost.com has posted a message explaining the rules for readers participating in the site's Live Online discussions, discussion forums and for posting comments on the company's blogs. The complete list of rules is here. --Steve Fehr, Fairfax Extra Editor...

 

By | February 17, 2006; 01:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

Help Available With Returns, Relief for Eligible Taxpayers

From today's Fairfax Extra: People needing help with federal and state income tax returns can take advantage of several free programs. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/15/AR2006021501049_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/15/AR2006021501049.html','People needing help with federal and state income tax returns can take advantage of several free programs.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); · Fairfax County residents making less than $37,000 a year can receive free income tax filing assistance through a county program, officials said. Help is offered at 12 locations throughout Northern Virginia through May 1. For more information about the program and locations, call 703-222-0880 or 703-324-5319. For information in Spanish, call 703-631-3366. Or visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/partnerships . Those preparing their own returns can call the IRS hotline at 800-829-1040 or visit http://www.irs.gov ....

 

By | February 16, 2006; 12:51 PM ET | Email a Comment

Neighboring Jurisdictions Expect Increase In Assessments

Because of the rise in property values, both Loudoun County and the City of Alexandria expect to be able to increase spending while simultaneously reducing tax rates. The story was in today's Metro section....

 

By | February 15, 2006; 01:48 PM ET | Email a Comment

 

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