As Co-chairs of the Budget Committee, Ed Saperstein and I are pleased to attach the draft resolution on the County's FY 2018 which will be presented to the Federation Board at the next Board meeting on March 16, 2017 (NOTE: this is the 3rd TH, not the 4th TH as usual). We would like to thank Tim Thompson, Patrick Maldore, Flint Webb and Nancy Trainer who participated as Budget Committee members. Particular thanks to Nancy who acted as editor!
We hope you will be able to review it prior to the Board meeting in order to make the discussion of the draft more focused and effective, resulting in a good product to present to the membership.
As you read it you will note the format is slightly changed.
For example, all "Whereas" paras are together, followed by the combined "Resolved"paras, in keeping with more common practice and avoiding "resolveds" scattered through the document..
Also,in order to keep the resolution simple and more succinct, those committees with separate resolutions have those resolutions attached and incorporated with only the salient points pulled into the main document. This, we believe, will give greater weight to those committee resolutions and permit those seeking more specific or detailed information to find such there. Committees with separate resolutions (Education and Environment) will provide them to you under separate cover.
The Board has recommended the membership consider and approve this resolution at its February 2017 meeting.
Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations Resolution Supporting Meaningful Citizen Participation in the FY2018 Budget Process
Approved by the board 26 January 2017
For membership consideration on 16 February 2017:
WHEREAS Fairfax County's Fiscal Year 2018 Advertised Budget Plan (FY2018 County Advertised Budget) was released by the County Executive on February 14, 2017, and includes expectations, presumptions and recommendations with respect to revenue sources (Revenue), funding levels for county services (County Funding Levels), and the proposed amount of support to be provided to Fairfax County Public Schools (School Transfer); and
WHEREAS on January 12, 2017, the Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) released a Proposed School Budget for FY2018 which included a request for funding from Fairfax County (Requested FCPS Transfer); and
WHEREAS, on February 28, 2017, without formal public input the Board of Supervisors (BOS) will advertise the maximum residential and commercial real property tax rate (Maximum Rate) which the BOS may legally and actually adopt in April 2017, for application in FY2018 (Actual Rate) to generate the major portion of Revenue; and
WHEREAS it is anticipated that Revenue may not be adequate, based on FY2017 actual tax rates, to support County Funding Levels and/or satisfy the Requested FCPS Transfer, potentially requiring cuts which could denigrate county services and infrastructure and/or dilute the asset value of FCPS as an economic driver of the county economy; and
WHEREAS the Actual Rate, County Funding Levels, School Transfer and related matters in the FY2018 County Advertised Budget will be the subject of public hearings beginning April 4, 2017 (Public Hearings) to elicit citizen input on budgetary priorities and the proper balance of services and taxes; and
WHEREAS meaningful citizen participation in the budget process at the Public Hearings in April and the flexibility of the BOS to respond to demonstrated needs in adopting the County's FY2018 Budget in May should not be unnecessarily chilled and circumscribed by the arbitrary ceiling of the Maximum Rate set in February ; and
WHEREAS meaningful citizen participation in the budget process specifically requires that the Maximum Rate be advertised at a level which would in theory fully fund both the Requested FCPS Transfer and County Funding Levels in order to promote positive discussion on budgetary priorities and the proper balance of taxes and services, and to preserve BOS flexibility to respond; and
WHEREAS the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations (FCFCA) encourages meaningful citizen participation in the budget process but expresses no opinion at this time as to Actual Tax Rate, County Funding Levels or School Transfer appropriate for implementation in FY2018;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the FCFCA in order to promote meaningful citizen participation in the FY2018 Fairfax County Budget process, enhance public discourse on budgetary priorities and the proper balance of public services and tax burden, and provide flexibility to the Fairfax County BOS, requests the BOS to advertise a Maximum Tax Rate which would fully fund both County Funding Levels and the Requested FCPS Transfer for FY2018.
The Board has recommended that the Federation support the meals tax referendum and recommends the membership consider and approve this resolution at its October 2016 meeting.
Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations Resolution for a YES Vote on the Meals Tax
Approved by the board September 22, 2016
For membership consideration on October 27, 2016
Whereas sound tax structure depends upon diversified sources of revenue;
Whereas the county's present tax structure derives 65% of general fund revenue from real property tax, both residential and commercial (including restaurants);
Whereas counties are constrained by Virginia law in the types and rates of taxes they may impose;
Whereas Virginia Code empowers counties to implement a sales tax on specific prepared food and beverages (“Meals Tax”) if such authority is granted by the citizens by referendum;
Whereas the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have placed authority to implement a Meals Tax of up to 4% on the November 8, 2016 ballot;
Whereas an estimated 28% of Meals Tax revenue would be paid by non-county residents, such as commuters and tourists; and
Whereas meals taxes at various rates have been implemented by many neighboring jurisdictions without adverse effect on their restaurant businesses; now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations (FCFCA) urges Fairfax County citizens to vote YES to authorize the Board of Supervisors to implement a Meals Tax of not more than 4%.