Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay hosted a town hall budget meeting Wednesday night in the Community Room at the Franconia Governmental Center to discuss sequestration and the FY 2014 budget.
Joining McKay was Lee District School Board representative Tammy Derenak Kaufax, and the evening's presenters, Joe Mondoro, deputy director for Fairfax County Office of Management and Budget and Michelle New, Fairfax County Public Schools assistant budget director.
In his statement, McKay said last year the county's budget was much clearer and sequestration was not a factor at the time.
"Our budget reflected improving economic trends, and our economy was one of the strongest in the nation. Then, along came the federal fiscal cliff and sequester. Why is our County budget affected by decisions made (or not) a few miles down the road in Washington, D.C.? Over the past decade we’ve worked hard at diversifying our economy but between 10 and 20 percent of our local economy is related to defense or federal contracting to the tune of about $25 billion," he said. "With a substantial amount of the county’s workforce involved in some way with what happens on the federal side, that’s a lot of potential drop in retail sales, car purchases, and the like."
McKay said it is now his and his colleagues' job to listen to the Lee District constituents and "crunch the numbers as we look into a very cloudy crystal ball."
Because of the economic uncertainty, McKay said he prefers to keep the tax rate as low as possible while still providing the community with significant services. McKay's citizen budget committee is also working on reviewing the budget and preparing to make its recommendations.
Read the committee's FY2014 report here.
Upcoming town hall budget meetings will be on April 9, 10 and 11 at the Fairfax County Government Center. To testify at one of these public hearings, contact the the clerk to the board at 703-324-3151 or sign up here. The Board formally adopts the FY2014 budget April 30.