County’s FY 2025 Budget Process Kicks Into Gear

County’s FY 2025 Budget Process Kicks Into Gear

Potential budgetary shortfall of $284.5 million complicates matters.

Fairfax County Executive Byran Hill

Fairfax County Executive Byran Hill

Fasten your seatbelt. In February, Fairfax County Government and Public Schools push forward on the budget for FY2025.

The school board's public hearing on the budget was held on Tuesday, Feb. 5. County Executive Byran Hill will unveil his FY 2025 Advertised Budget Plan on Feb. 20. On Feb. 22, the school board subsequently approves its proposed budget plan for FY 2025. A Joint County/School Budget Committee will meet on Feb. 27 to deliberate on the tax rate and budget for FY 2025.

On March 5, the Board of Supervisors advertises the FY 2025 tax rate. The tax rate that is eventually adopted can be the same as or lower than the advertised tax rate, but not higher.

A look back at the FY 2025 Fiscal Forecast Summary, presented at the Joint Meeting of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board on Nov. 28, 2023, helps predict what the FY 2025 advertised budget faces. The FY 2025 budget cycle began when County Executive Bryan Hill and School Superintendent Michelle Reid shared their budget forecasts. Based on the existing tax rates, Hill's budget forecast included critical predictions of the local economy, housing market, and tax revenues for FY 2025.

A relatively flat real estate market, 1.68 percent, impacts assessment growth. The FY 2025 estimate cited a 2.07 percent change in residential assessment, (1.60 percent) nonresidential, and 0.47 percent for new construction. The total real estate base thus dropped to the projection of 1.68 percent in FY 2025 compared to 6.59 percent in FY 2024 actual and 8.57 percent in FY 2023 actual.

Economic performance in the Washington Metro region has trailed the nation; office vacancies are up in Fairfax County. Nonresidential values are projected to decline, primarily driven by accelerating losses in office property values. A projected 1.9 percent annual change in general fund revenue for FY 2016–FY 2025 equates to approximately a $152 million revenue increase over FY 2024 Adopted.

According to the FY 2025 Budget Forecast, County revenue growth is projected to generate $152.3 million, and schools projects an increase in revenue of $66.1 million

The FY 2025 Summary reported the following: Projected Schools Revenue: $66.1 million; Employee Pay and Benefits: County ($180.5 million) and Schools (166.1); Debt Service and Capital Requirements: County ($17.4) and Schools ($10.9 million); Metro: County ($16 million); Other Adjustments: County ($29.4 million) and Schools ($102.6 million); and Reductions: County $20.0. The totals were County ($223.3) and Schools ($213.5).

However, with County revenues estimated to increase by $152.3 million, there is a combined net projected budgetary shortfall of $284.5 million. Multiple priorities are not included, such as for the County baseline funding for IT initiatives, increased investments in affordable housing, environment, and energy, basic need assistance and for schools implementation of secondary security audit recommendations; expansion of middle school athletics, and the impact of federal government lowering the CEP (Community Eligibility Provision that allows high poverty schools and division to offer breakfast and lunch percentage from 40 percent to 25 percent. 


Budget Timeline in 2024

Fairfax County Public Schools released their proposed FY 2025 budget on January 25, 2024. After several months of deliberation, the Board of Supervisors adopts the budget on May 7, and the school board adopts the budget on May 23. The Board of Supervisors will hold three days of public hearings on the budget, April 16, 17 and 18.

Fairfax County Government and Fairfax County Public Schools
Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Budget Process Timeline
Nov. 28: Joint County/School Budget Committee to discuss FY 2025 fiscal forecast
Jan. 25: FCPS Superintendent releases FY 2025 Proposed Budget
Feb. 5: School Board holds public hearings on budget
Feb. 20: County Executive releases FY 2025 Advertised Budget Plan
Feb. 22: School Board adopts FY 2025 (proposed) Budget Plan
Feb. 27: Joint County/School Budget Committee to discuss FY 2025 budget and tax rate
March 5: Board of Supervisors Advertises FY 2025 tax rate
March 19: Board of Supervisors Advertises FY 2024 Third Quarter Review
April 16: School Board Presents FCPS Budget to Board of Supervisors
April 16-18: Board of Supervisors holds public hearings on FY 2025 Budget
April 30: Board of Supervisors marks-up FY 2025 Budget
May 7: Board of Supervisors adopts FY 2025 Budget
May 23: School Board adopts FY 2025 Approved Budget
July 1: FY 2025 Budget Year begins