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Column: Residents Can Craft Own County Budget

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is in the process of developing the FY 2014 budget and my colleague, Supervisor John Cook, came up with a great tool, a budget simulation that will assist you in creating your own proposed budget.

Here you have the budget proposed by the County Executive, this is your chance to be a county supervisor and tell us what you would do in our shoes. Which service do you consider vital? What specific programs would you cut? Are you satisfied with the proposed tax rate?

Keep in mind the following which Supervisor Cook shared with us when distributing the budget simulation:

"You may find the rules constraining. That's because in real life they are as well. For example, larger changes in the budget would require more lead time (major restructuring, elimination or addition of large programs, etc.) so those items are not included. The details of the school budget cannot be changed, because the Board of Supervisors only appropriates school funds and the School Board determines spending. We hope this exercise will help you understand the budget process better, and provide the Board with some ideas on how we should approach this effort in real life.

“Please keep in mind that to make this exercise a little more understandable, we made a few assumptions and estimations that wouldn't work in real life. However, the changes are small and do not seriously alter the budget math."

Thank you for participating! Please share your results with me, I want your feedback on your budget priorities! There are several ways you can send your completed budget simulation:

Email: Sully@fairfaxcounty.gov

Mail: Sully District Supervisor's Office

Sully Governmental Center

4900 Stonecroft Blvd.

Chantilly, VA 20151

And begin:

FY 2014 Budget Simulation

Supporting Documents:

Reductions taken: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2014/advertised/fy2014-reductions.pdf

Reductions not taken:

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2014/advertised/cex-memo-bos-reductions-not-taken.pdf