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Opinion: Budget Season in Fairfax County
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Opinion: Budget Season in Fairfax County

Attend a town hall meeting and express your priorities.

Alexandria and Arlington each have a meals tax, both enacted without a referendum because as urban forms of government in Virginia, their local elected bodies were authorized to enact the tax legislatively.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors had to put the meals tax on the ballot for voters to decide, and after a heated campaign, the tax was voted down decisively.

Elections have consequences, a fact being affirmed on every level right now.

In Fairfax County, this means a more difficult budget process going forward than might otherwise have been the case. The vast majority of Fairfax County’s $3.99 billion budget is financed by property taxes, and the proposed budget is based on no property tax increase.

The meals tax would have provided about $80 million for the schools; the current budget falls $61 million short of the FCPS request.

While County Executive Ed Long has said there can be no new programs in the budget defined by no tax increase, we all know that some things could be cut to make room for new, needed programs. Long will conduct an online chat answer budget questions on Friday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. Submit questions here: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/AskFairfax/mobile/ActiveDiscussion.aspx?roomid=131

The county will hold a series of budget town hall meetings which will include a presentation, time for questions and feedback.

The Connection welcomes letters for publication on the budget, send to editors@connectionnewspapers.com

Fairfax County Budget Town Hall Meetings

Tuesday, Feb. 21 - 7:30 p.m., Great Falls Citizens Association, Great Falls Library - 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls

Saturday, March 4 - 9 a.m., Hunter Mill District Community Meeting, Frying Pan Park, Visitors Center - 2739 West Ox Road, Herndon

Wednesday, March 8 - 7 p.m., Providence Community Budget Meeting, Providence Community Center - 3001 Vaden Drive, Fairfax. - First Floor Multi-Purpose Rooms

Wednesday, March 8 - 7 p.m., Sully District Budget Town Hall Meeting, Rocky Run Middle School - 4400 Stringfellow Road, Chantilly

Thursday, March 9 - 7 p.m., Mason District Budget Town Hall Meeting, Mason District Government Center, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale - Main Community Room

Thursday, March 16 - 7:30 p.m., McLean Budget Public Meeting, McLean Community Center - 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean.

Monday, March 20 - 7 p.m., Springfield District Budget Town Hall Meeting, West Springfield Government Center - 6140 Rolling Road, Springfield - Community Room

Wednesday, March 22 - 7 p.m., Lee District Budget Town Hall Meeting, Franconia Governmental Center - 6121 Franconia Road, Alexandria

Monday, March 27 - 7:30 p.m., Braddock District Budget Town Hall Meeting, Robinson Secondary School - Recital Hall - 5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax.

Correction

Last week’s editorial implied that in November 2017, the Virginia Senate will be on the ballot. The 40 seats in the Virginia Senate will next be on the ballot in November 2019. All 100 seats in the House of Delegates are on the ballot this November, 2017, along with Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General.

— Mary Kimm

mkimm@connectionnewspapers.com