Difference between revisions of "Fairfax County, Virginia"

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'''Fairfax County''' is one of [[Virginia counties (Sunshine Review)|95 counties]] in [[Virginia]]. As of 2010, the population was 1,081,726.<ref>[http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51/51059.html ''U.S. Census Bureau'' "QuickFacts," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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'''Fairfax County''' is one of [[Virginia counties (Sunshine Review)|95 counties]] in [[Virginia]]. As of 2010, the population was 1,081,726.<ref>[http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51/51059.html ''U.S. Census Bureau'', "QuickFacts," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
  
 
==Website evaluation==
 
==Website evaluation==
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===The good===
 
===The good===
* County supervisors are listed with contact information.<ref name="cc">[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/ ''Fairfax County'' "Board of Supervisors," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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* County supervisors are listed with contact information.<ref name="cc">[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/ ''Fairfax County'', "Board of Supervisors," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
* Meeting agendas and schedules are posted.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/meetings/ ''Fairfax County'' "Board Meetings," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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* Meeting agendas and schedules are posted.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/meetings/ ''Fairfax County'', "Board Meetings," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
* Budgets and audits are posted.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/finance/transparency/ ''Fairfax County'' "Financial Transparency," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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* Budgets and audits are posted.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/finance/transparency/ ''Fairfax County'', "Financial Transparency," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
* Building permit information is posted,<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/buildingpermits/ ''Fairfax County'' "Building Permits," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref> along with zoning information.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/landuse/ ''Fairfax County'' "Land Use," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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* Building permit information is posted,<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/buildingpermits/ ''Fairfax County'', "Building Permits," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref> along with zoning information.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/landuse/ ''Fairfax County'', "Land Use," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
* Local tax rates are posted, and taxes may be paid online.<ref name="tax">[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/ ''Fairfax County'' "Department of Tax Administration," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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* Local tax rates are posted, and taxes may be paid online.<ref name="tax">[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/ ''Fairfax County'', "Department of Tax Administration," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
* Bid opportunities and a contract register are posted.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/business/withcounty/ ''Fairfax County'' "Doing Business with Us," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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* Bid opportunities and a contract register are posted.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/business/withcounty/ ''Fairfax County'', "Doing Business with Us," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
* A county directory is available.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/contact/ ''Fairfax County'' "Contact Us," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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* A county directory is available.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/contact/ ''Fairfax County'', "Contact Us," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
* Information and contact information are provided on making [[Virginia Freedom of Information Act|public records]] requests.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/opa/foia.htm ''Fairfax County'' "Virginia Freedom of Information Act," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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* Information and contact information are provided on making [[Virginia Freedom of Information Act|public records]] requests.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/opa/foia.htm ''Fairfax County'', "Virginia Freedom of Information Act," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
* The county's lobbying agenda is posted.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/legislation/ ''Fairfax County'' "Government Relations," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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* The county's lobbying agenda is posted.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/legislation/ ''Fairfax County'', "Government Relations," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
  
 
===The bad===
 
===The bad===
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===County executive===
 
===County executive===
Anthony H. Griffin was appointed Fairfax County's Executive by the board of supervisors in 2000.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cex/ ''Fairfax County'' "County Executive," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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Anthony H. Griffin was appointed Fairfax County's Executive by the board of supervisors in 2000.<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cex/ ''Fairfax County'', "County Executive," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
  
 
==Budget==
 
==Budget==
 
===2013 deficit===
 
===2013 deficit===
Fairfax County has a $114.4 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2013, raising questions of funding for roads and schools. Specifically, County Executive Anthony Griffin hoped to increase school funding by 5 percent, but budget realities may not let him do so.<ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/fairfax-county-executive-budget-gap-could-hurt-school-funding/2011/11/30/gIQAxaZ1DO_story.html ''Washington Post'' "Fairfax County executive: Budget gap could hurt school funding," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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Fairfax County has a $114.4 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2013, raising questions of funding for roads and schools. Specifically, County Executive Anthony Griffin hoped to increase school funding by 5 percent, but budget realities may not let him do so.<ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/fairfax-county-executive-budget-gap-could-hurt-school-funding/2011/11/30/gIQAxaZ1DO_story.html ''Washington Post'', "Fairfax County executive: Budget gap could hurt school funding," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
  
 
===2012===
 
===2012===
 
{| class=wikitable
 
{| class=wikitable
|+2012 General Fund Revenue<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2012/adopted/where_from_pie_chart-one-pager.pdf ''Fairfax County'' "2012 General Fund Receipts," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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|+2012 General Fund Revenue<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2012/adopted/where_from_pie_chart-one-pager.pdf ''Fairfax County'', "2012 General Fund Receipts," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
 
!Source!!Revenues!!% of Total
 
!Source!!Revenues!!% of Total
 
|-
 
|-
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{| class=wikitable
 
{| class=wikitable
|+2012 General Fund Expenditures<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2012/adopted/where_goes_pie_chart-one-pager.pdf ''Fairfax County'' "2012 General Fund Disbursement," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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|+2012 General Fund Expenditures<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2012/adopted/where_goes_pie_chart-one-pager.pdf ''Fairfax County'', "2012 General Fund Disbursement," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
 
!Category!!Expenditures!!% of Total
 
!Category!!Expenditures!!% of Total
 
|-
 
|-
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===Retirement costs===
 
===Retirement costs===
 
{| class=wikitable
 
{| class=wikitable
|+Retirement Benefit Costs<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/finance/pdf/FY2010cafr.pdf ''Fairfax County'' "2010 CAFR," Accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
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|+Retirement Benefit Costs<ref>[http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/finance/pdf/FY2010cafr.pdf ''Fairfax County'', "2010 CAFR," accessed December 1, 2011]</ref>
 
!Retirement Program!!Liability!!Unfunded Liabilities!!Unfunded Liabilities as a Percent of Covered Payroll
 
!Retirement Program!!Liability!!Unfunded Liabilities!!Unfunded Liabilities as a Percent of Covered Payroll
 
|-
 
|-
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==Fairfax Police Department==
 
==Fairfax Police Department==
According to an investigation by Connections Newspaper reporter Michael Pope, the police departments of Fairfax County, [[Alexandria, Virginia|Alexandria]], and [[Arlington County, Virginia|Arlington]] are among the most secretive and non-transparent in the country. According to the reports, the departments' interpretation of the [[Virginia Freedom of Information Act]] in effect allows them reject nearly all information requests.<ref>[http://reason.com/archives/2010/08/30/trust-me-you-can-trust-us "Trust Me: You Can Trust Us", ''Reason Magazine'', August 30, 2010]</ref><ref>[http://connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=338832&paper=59&cat=104 "Transparency Blackout: Police departments in Northern Virginia refuse to release public documents", ''Alexandria Gazette Packet'', March 18, 2010]</ref>
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According to an investigation by Connections Newspaper reporter Michael Pope, the police departments of Fairfax County, [[Alexandria, Virginia|Alexandria]], and [[Arlington County, Virginia|Arlington]] are among the most secretive and non-transparent in the country. According to the reports, the departments' interpretation of the [[Virginia Freedom of Information Act]] in effect allows them reject nearly all information requests.<ref>[http://reason.com/archives/2010/08/30/trust-me-you-can-trust-us "Trust Me: You Can Trust Us," ''Reason Magazine'', August 30, 2010]</ref><ref>[http://connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=338832&paper=59&cat=104 "Transparency Blackout: Police departments in Northern Virginia refuse to release public documents," ''Alexandria Gazette Packet'', March 18, 2010]</ref>
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==

Latest revision as of 07:55, 6 May 2014

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Transparency grading process


Fairfax County is one of 95 counties in Virginia. As of 2010, the population was 1,081,726.[1]

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Virginia county websites

This website was reviewed on December 1, 2011

The good

  • County supervisors are listed with contact information.[2]
  • Meeting agendas and schedules are posted.[3]
  • Budgets and audits are posted.[4]
  • Building permit information is posted,[5] along with zoning information.[6]
  • Local tax rates are posted, and taxes may be paid online.[7]
  • Bid opportunities and a contract register are posted.[8]
  • A county directory is available.[9]
  • Information and contact information are provided on making public records requests.[10]
  • The county's lobbying agenda is posted.[11]

The bad

  • Administrative officials are not provided.
  • Elected officials' party affiliations are not provided.
  • The amount of money spent on Taxpayer-funded lobbying is not available.

Public employees

Board of supervisors

2011 Board of Supervisors[2]
Name District
Sharon Bulova (Chairman) At-Large
John C. Cook Braddock
John W. Foust Dranesville
Catherine M. Hudgins Hunter Mill
Jeff C. McKay Lee
Penelope A. Gross (Vice Chairman) Mason
Gerald W. Hyland Mount Vernon
Linda Q. Smith Providence
Pat Herrity Springfield
Michael R. Frey Sully

County executive

Anthony H. Griffin was appointed Fairfax County's Executive by the board of supervisors in 2000.[12]

Budget

2013 deficit

Fairfax County has a $114.4 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2013, raising questions of funding for roads and schools. Specifically, County Executive Anthony Griffin hoped to increase school funding by 5 percent, but budget realities may not let him do so.[13]

2012

2012 General Fund Revenue[14]
Source Revenues % of Total
Real Estate Taxes $2,035,455,407 61.6%
Permits, Fees, & Licenses $30,152,648
Fines & Forfeitures $16,868,801 0.5%
Personal Property Taxes $518,132,388 15.7%
Use of Money & Property $16,711,665 0.5%
Recovered Costs/Other $12,079,289 0.4%
Local Taxes $488,212,410 14.8%
Charges for Services $64,161,281 1.9%
Commonwealth of Virginia $90,612,431 2.7%
Federal Government $34,566,131 1.0%
General Fund Revenues $3,306,952,451 100%
2012 General Fund Expenditures[15]
Category Expenditures % of Total
Schools $1,774,305,286 52.5%
County Debt $119,373,864 3.5%
Health and Welfare $381,285,456 11.3%
Judicial Administration $31,582,238 0.9%
Public Works $65,552,369 2.0%
Transfers $137,601,577 4.1%
Public Safety $412,712,715 12.2%
Parks and Libraries $47,735,700 1.4%
Community Development $43,846,569 1.3%
Nondepartmental $267,849,511 8.0%
Central Services $71,617,469 2.1%
Legislative-Executive Functions $24,016,730 0.7%
Total General Fund Expenditures $3,377,479,384 100%

Retirement costs

Retirement Benefit Costs[16]
Retirement Program Liability Unfunded Liabilities Unfunded Liabilities as a Percent of Covered Payroll
Employees' Retirement System $3,535,874 $932,590 148.39%
Police Officers' Retirement System $1,076,039 $196,496 197.19%
Uniformed Retirement System $1,351,204 $276,974 188.31%
Other Post-Employment Benefits $441,286 $391,053 51.37%
Educational Employees' Supplementary Retirement System $2,314,282 $544,742 45,09%
Educational Other Post-Employment Benefits $466,324 $448,804 37.94%

Taxes

Real estate tax

Fairfax's real estate tax is $1.07 per $100 of assessed value.[7]

Car tax

The county's car tax is $4.57 per $100 of assessed value.[7]

Sales tax

The county's sales tax is 1%, on top of a statewide 4% sales tax.[7]

Other taxes

Other county tax rates are posted on the county website.[7]

Lobbying

Main article: Virginia government sector lobbying

In 2008, Fairfax County reported $80,000 spent on lobbying.[17] Fairfax County pays for services of the lobbying firm Alcade & Fay.[18]

Fairfax Police Department

According to an investigation by Connections Newspaper reporter Michael Pope, the police departments of Fairfax County, Alexandria, and Arlington are among the most secretive and non-transparent in the country. According to the reports, the departments' interpretation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act in effect allows them reject nearly all information requests.[19][20]

External links

References