Dear Neighbor,

Budget season in Fairfax County has begun. At Tuesday's Board Meeting, the County Executive presented his proposed FY 2025 Budget. This was the first opportunity for both the Board and the general public to view the proposal and the first step in a months-long process which culminates in adoption on May 7. You can watch the presentation or view the FY2025 budget documents here.

Acknowledging that Virginia law requires that we rely on real estate taxes for the majority of revenue, County Executive Bryan Hill highlighted the challenges of a commercial real estate market impacted by the post-Covid shift to remote and hybrid work. Office vacancy rates have increased and nonresidential real estate revenue declined slightly.

Two top priorities in the proposed budget are adequately compensating our hard-working County employees and supporting our high-quality public school system. As such, it includes market-based pay raises for County employees and a $174 million, or 6.8%, increase in funding for schools. To achieve this, Hill identifies $34 million in expenditure reductions and proposes a real estate tax increase of four cents per $100 of home value. The proposal does not include significant funding for new programs or initiatives.


The elephant in the room of this year's budget process is the Commonwealth of Virginia's severe underfunding of our school system. A recently released Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) study noted that Virginia schools receive 14 percent less funding per pupil than the national average. As a result, to maintain our quality school system, Fairfax County funds more than 70% of the school budget.

If Virginia school funding were brought up to the national average, that would provide another $1,900 per student, or approximately $345 million in additional funding each year. My colleagues and I continue to press the General Assembly and the Governor to fulfill the Commonwealth’s responsibility and make meaningful increases to state funding for education.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns about the County budget before it is adopted in May. To that end, I'll be hosting a virtual Braddock District Budget Town Hall on Monday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. You can watch the town hall three different ways:

Do you have a question to submit for the town hall? 


The Board will also be hosting a series of Budget Public Hearings from April 16-18 at the Government Center. We want to hear from residents and encourage you to sign up to speak in person, by video, or by phone at one of the three meetings.

The County has expanded the methods for residents to offer feedback on the Budget. The complete list includes:

Yours in service,

Supervisor James R. Walkinshaw

Please share the newsletter with your friends and neighbors. If this email was forwarded to you, consider subscribing to receive Braddock District news and updates.

Continue reading below for more information on:

  • Fairfax Connector Service Suspended Indefinitely
  • Public Comment for VA Priority Climate Action Plan
  • County Black History Month Celebration
  • 2/23 Traffic Advisory: EagleBank Arena
  • Real Estate Assessments
  • New VRE Programs
  • Upcoming Housing Symposium
  • LLI March Forum
  • Transportation News
  • More Early Voting Sites Opening This Weekend
  • 2024 Conference for Spanish-Speaking Landscape Professionals
  • Tax Resources

Fairfax Connector Service Suspended Indefinitely

Fairfax Connector service is suspended as of 9:00 a.m. this morning due to a work stoppage. Fairfax Connector bus service is operated by a private employer. The County is encouraging the employer to negotiate in good faith with the goal of completing a new contract.

Please follow the County, Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT), or Connector on social media for updates on the Connector's operating status:

Public Comment for VA Priority Climate Action Plan  

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has released a draft of its Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP) for an informal public comment period that ends tomorrow, February 23.

The PCAP is the first of two climate action plans to be developed under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grant. The PCAP focuses on identifying short-term actions that could be implemented to reduce carbon pollution in Virginia. The final PCAP will be submitted to the EPA by March 1.  

DEQ will hold an online public meeting on the draft plan tonight, February 22, from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. 

Send comments to [email protected] or mail to: 

Department of Environmental Quality

Office of Air Data Analysis and Planning


P.O. Box 1105

Richmond, VA 23218

County Black History Month Celebration

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Fairfax County's Black History Month event will take place tomorrow, Friday, February 23, at the Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax) beginning at 5:30 p.m.

This year’s theme is “The Value of Telling Our Stories,” and will include performances, activities, discussion, and light refreshments. Find more information on this event on the County’s website. View the Fairfax County History Commission's Black History Month Calendar.

2/23 Traffic Advisory: EagleBank Arena

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Tomorrow, Friday, February 23 there will be an increased volume of traffic on and around the Fairfax Campus, as well as an increase in on-campus parking, due to a show at EagleBank Arena, with 10,000 attendees expected.

The show begins at 8:00 p.m., with doors opening at 7:00 p.m. Subscribe to Mason alerts for up-to-date details on high impact areas and alternative routes.

Real Estate Assessments

2024 real estate assessments are now available. Homeowners will receive a copy in the mail, or you can find your assessment online. The Department of Tax Administration has developed a useful tool for residents to see how their neighborhoods’ home values have changed from last year to this year. Click here to view the map.

It's important to note that Virginia law requires homes to be assessed at fair market value, which is not set by the Board. On average, due to higher mortgage rates and slower sales, assessments went up countywide by just 2.86%; in the Braddock District, the average increase was 2.52%. By comparison, one year ago the increases were 6.97% and 7.04%, respectively.


If you'd like to learn more about how the assessments are calculated, you can visit the Department of Tax Administration (DTA)'s page.


If you believe that your real estate is incorrectly assessed, you can file an appeal through DTA.

Kids Ride Free on VRE

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The Virginia Railway Express has two new programs rolling out this year to improve accessibility for families and expand their services beyond commuting.

Beginning July 1, passengers under 18 years old can ride the VRE for free. The current policy is children under 10 years old (with a paying adult) can ride for free.

VRE's first-ever Saturday Service will start later this year. Stay tuned for more information regarding the schedule of VRE's Saturday Service trains.

Learn more about these programs or view the VRE Budget Presentation from December 2023.

Upcoming Housing Symposium

Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), in partnership with the George Mason University Costello College of Business, will be hosting the 2024 Fairfax County Housing Symposium on Wednesday, March 6, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, and registration is open now. The event will be held on the Fairfax Campus of George Mason University at the Harris Theatre (4471 Aquia Creek Lane, Fairfax).

This year we will feature a panel discussion on the critical work and impact of the FCRHA and hear from individuals who will share their stories on the value of affordable housing in our community. The event will also provide a brief tour of One University, allowing participants to take a sneak peek at this new development that will serve families, students, and older adults for years to come. In addition, there will be a discussion on preventing and ending homelessness in Fairfax County and a conversation on the complexities and decisions that play into the development, preservation, and adaptive reuse of affordable housing.

More information about the 2024 Symposium is available online.

LLI March Forum

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The Lifetime Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College (LLI/NOVA), is a nonprofit organization offering educational and cultural pursuits to those ages 50 and over.

For their March Forum, they'll be joined by recently retired Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross. Former Supervisor Gross will speak on her perspectives on life in public service, including some of the most rewarding aspects and some of the more challenging parts of being a Supervisor.

Join LLI/NOVA on March 6, at the Little River United Church of Christ (8410 Little River Turnpike, Annandale) at 9:30 a.m., the speaking program will begin at 10:00 a.m.

Visit LLI's website for more information.

Transportation News

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FCDOT Conducting Route 29 Study

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is conducting a study on the Route 29 corridor, between Buckleys Gate Drive/Summit Drive near the Fairfax County Parkway (VA 286) and Jermantown Road.

The purpose of this study is to reassess the long-term needs of the corridor and develop solutions that serve residents and commuters, including multimodal options. Feedback from this survey will help inform the Fairfax County Comprehensive Transportation Plan. 

The deadline to provide feedback is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1. To participate in the survey, please visit the Route 29 Study Survey online or leave a recorded message at (703) 890-5898, Project Code 3941.

FCDOT will present the survey results at a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:00 p.m.

For more information on the study and public meeting, please visit the Route 29 study webpage or read the County's press release.

Meeting on Popes Head Road Interchange Project

A “Pardon Our Dust” information meeting about construction on the Fairfax County Parkway and Popes Head Road Interchange has been scheduled by the Virginia Department of Transportation for Wednesday, February 28, at 7:00 p.m. It will be held at VDOT Headquarters, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax.


The meeting will focus on the project to replace the traffic signal at the Fairfax County Parkway and Popes Head Road with an interchange. The interchange will feature triple roundabouts that will allow traffic to flow freely on two new bridges over the Parkway. The project also includes:

  • Building a short segment of the future Shirley Gate Road extension that will provide pedestrian and vehicle access to the future Patriot Park
  • Constructing a shared-use path linking the Fairfax County Parkway Trail to the future Patriot Park
  • Reconstructing the Fairfax County Parkway Trail
  • Installing a sidewalk along the north side of Popes Head Road


The project aims to relieve congestion and improve safety and traffic flow while maintaining bicyclist and pedestrian accessibility and mobility.

More Early Voting Sites Opening This Weekend

Early voting for the March 5 Democratic and Republican Presidential primary elections is happening now. You can vote early at three locations:

  • Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax)
  • Weekdays 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Mt. Vernon Governmental Center (2511 Parks Lane, Alexandria)
  • Weekdays 1:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston)
  • Weekdays 1:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Thirteen additional early voting locations will open this Saturday, February 24, including the Burke Centre Library (5935 Freds Oak Road, Burke) and the West Springfield Governmental Center (6140 Rolling Road, Springfield). More information on early voting locations, how to vote, or requesting a mail-in ballot by February 23 is available on the Office of Elections' website.

2024 Conference for Spanish-Speaking Landscape Professionals

Sponsored by Plant NOVA Natives, the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and Fairfax County Park Authority will host a Conference for Spanish-Speaking Landscape Professionals on March 8 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax).

Attendees will learn more about the benefits of native plants and tips for managing invasive species. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Questions about this event can be directed to [email protected]

Tax Resources

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Free Tax Preparation Help

Tax season is officially underway — and so too is free tax preparation assistance by the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program.

Fairfax County is partnering with the nonprofit to provide eight county facilities where residents can get no-cost help filling out their federal and state taxes through April 15.

Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified every year, according to AARP. At every location, volunteers can help you prepare your federal and Virginia state tax returns, and some locations can also assist you with District of Columbia and Maryland taxes. Find a Tax Aide near you.

Tax aides can help you with most — but not all — tax returns, including returns with:

  • Wages, interest, dividends, capital gains or losses, pensions and Social Security benefits
  • Self-employment income with limits
  • Qualified business income deduction with limits
  • 1099 income
  • IRA contributions
  • Health savings accounts

However, volunteers can’t help with complicated tax returns that involve a small business with employees, rental income or alternative minimum tax.

Before you visit an assistance location, check what kinds of tax returns the program can and can’t prepare.

Do Taxes Yourself

If you want to do your taxes yourself, the federal and state governments offer free online tax preparation and filing for people within certain income limits.

Learn more:

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