Speak up now or face higher Fairfax County real estate taxes. After April 29, 2014, it will be too late because the Board of Supervisors is making final decisions on the FY 2015 budget that includes property tax rate.

By now you should have received the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) tax assessment notices for 2014. They show that assessments have increased over last year for most homeowners. According to county information, countywide assessment values for 2014 have increased 6.54 percent and a typical household will see their real estate taxes increase by $331.67 over last year. Of course some will pay more because their tax assessment increased more than for the average household and if the current tax rate of $1.085 per $100 of assessed value is not reduced. Also, the Board has advertised an increase in the current rate of $l.085 to $1.105 per $100 of assessed value. If approved your taxes go even higher. None of this is fair to struggling homeowner taxpayers.

Last year the Board of Supervisors spent over $10.2 million to give bonuses to regular merit and certain exempt employees regardless of merit in work performance. County employees make an average annual salary of $68,000 That action is disgraceful because it rewarded work performance regardless of whether it excelled or not and that $10.2 million plus should have been set aside to help pay for essential services without raising taxes as seems to be the Board of Supervisors practice. It is time to give struggling homeowner taxpayers some tax relief. I have proposed that the BOS cut the current rate of $1.085 per $100 of assessed value so that homeowners don’t pay one penny more this year for real estate taxes than last year.

To check your specific tax increase use the information from the tax notice you received.

Subtract the total assessed value for last year from the current assessed value, divide that result by 100, multiply the result by the tax rate of $1.085 per $100 of assessed value and the result will be your tax increase if nothing is done by the Board to reduce the tax rate.

Call or write your supervisor and demand that the tax rate be cut so there is no real estate tax increase. Call the clerk to the board at 703-324-3151 for your supervisor’s phone number or tell the clerk to the board to pass on your call to your supervisor. Or, you can email the clerk to the board at ClerktotheBOS@FairfaxCounty.gov and ask the clerk to provide your views to all supervisors. Silence will embolden the Supervisors to do nothing to alleviate the higher taxes, since they will probably assume that the taxpayers are not alarmed because they haven’t made their views known. Don’t let silence increase your taxes. After the Board acts it will be too late. Call or write today and demand lower taxes.

Frank Medico, Mount Vernon