Residents of Fairfax County felt the impact of the, now common place, one-two punch of increased assessments accompanying a hike in rates. The property assessments go up and instead of dropping the rate to maintain a static revenue stream, they raise the rate too. In the last several weeks people have been getting their assessments in the mail only to find large assessed value increases, 6.54% on average, representing over $1,000 annual cost increase in many cases.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have released their advertised FY2016 Budget Plan raising the residential property tax rate by half of a penny per $100 of value to $1.09 in spite of forecasts that the value increases will continue. What they don’t indicate in the Budget plan is the $.0225 (two and a quarter cents) per $100 of value that they charge as a separate tax. In 2010 the Stromwater Service District was established, among a growing list of such “Service Districts” enabling the county government to obscure the landscape of tax rate increases.
Whether you are in favor of paying more to get more or feel like smaller more efficient government is best, clearly understanding what we pay and how it is used is the minimum expectation.