by Michael W. Thompson
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy
August 31, 2004
The Thomas Jefferson Institute did its fourth annual Fairfax County Budget Analysis and found that the county government and school board could be using money more wisely. The study applies a TABOR-like spending restraint of inflation + population growth to the largest county budget in Virginia. It finds that over the last four years, the county could have saved more than $300 million, but it's not the county government that's really the culprit. "'Net overspending' has totaled $321,652,852 and the total overspending by the county during this period was only 16.8 percent of the total, or $54,125,080, while the school system accounted for 83.2 percent, or $267,527,772." The study also offers tips for what could be done with saved money, such as raising teacher pay or funding school infrastructure needs without raising taxes.