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Fairfax, Falls Church propose real estate tax rate hikes

The cities of Fairfax and Falls Church are proposing to raise their real estate tax rates to offset still-declining residential and commercial property assessments.

Falls Church, a city of about 11,000, proposed a 20-cent increase in its tax rate, from $1.07 to $1.27 per $100 of assessed value. City Manager F. Wyatt Shields said commercial assessments fell by more than 13 percent this year, and sales tax receipts decreased by more than 18 percent.

To make up an $8.9 million deficit in the city's $68 million budget, Wyatt said the city would cut 16 full-time positions, freeze employee pay for the second straight year and make cuts to pension and health benefits.

Fairfax City Manager Robert L. Sission proposed increasing the city's tax rate by 8.5 cents, from 88 cents to 96.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. Fairfax's $111 million annual budget notes that residential assessments fell this year by 5.5 percent while commercial assessments decreased by 10.6 percent.

Fairfax, an independent city of about 24,000 residents, is also using $1.8 million in reserve money for its fiscal 2011 budget, and substantial increases to the city's water and sewer rates. Sisson said most city revenue categories showed modest growth, but that a $11.5 million shortfall would result in workforce reductions by attrition and possible furlough days for employees.

Falls Church will formally adopt its budget April 26, and Fairfax will vote on its budget April 29.

-- Derek Kravitz

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 11, 2010; 2:36 PM ET
Categories:  Derek Kravitz , Fairfax County  
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No higher taxes are not the answer. When will our governments start using tax payer money more frugally?

It's always raise taxes. It's like a broken record. It's always the answer we get from our county governments.

Well no. it's time tax payers put their foot down and say enough is enough.

Posted by: Jaymand | March 11, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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