Article VII: Local Government Section 2. Organization and government.
The General Assembly shall provide by general law for the organization, government, powers, change of boundaries, consolidation, and dissolution of counties, cities, towns, and regional governments. The General Assembly may also provide by general law optional plans of government for counties, cities, or towns to be effective if approved by a majority vote of the qualified voters voting on any such plan in any such county, city, or town.
The General Assembly may also provide by special act for the organization, government, and powers of any county, city, town, or regional government, including such powers of legislation, taxation, and assessment as the General Assembly may determine, but no such special act shall be adopted which provides for the extension or contraction of boundaries of any county, city, or town.
Every law providing for the organization of a regional government shall, in addition to any other requirements imposed by the General
Assembly, require the approval of the organization of the regional government by a majority vote of the qualified voters voting thereon
in each county and city which is to participate in the regional government and of the voters voting thereon in a part of a county or city
where only the part is to participate.
Section 3. Powers.
The General Assembly may provide by general law or special act that any county, city, town, or other unit of government may
exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions and may participate in the financing thereof jointly or in cooperation with
the Commonwealth or any other unit of government within or without the Commonwealth. The General Assembly may provide by
general law or special act for transfer to or sharing with a regional government of any services, functions, and related facilities of any
county, city, town, or other unit of government within the boundaries of such regional government.
Code City of Fairfax, Virginia Codified through Ord. No. 2003-10, enacted April 8, 2003.
Sec. 2.1. General grant of powers.
The city shall have and may exercise all powers which are now or may hereafter be conferred upon or delegated to cities under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth and all other powers pertinent to the conduct of a city government, the exercise of which is not expressly prohibited by
the said Constitution and laws and which in the opinion of the council are necessary or desirable to promote the general welfare of the city and the safety, health, peace, good order, comfort, convenience and morals of its inhabitants, as fully and completely as though such powers were specifically enumerated in this Charter, and no enumeration of particular powers in this Charter shall be held to be exclusive but shall be held to be in addition to this general grant of powers.
Sec. 2.2. Financial powers.
In addition to powers granted by other sections of this Charter, the city shall have the power:
(a) To raise annually by taxes and assessments, as permitted by general law, in the city such sums of money as the council shall deem necessary to pay the debts and defray the expenses of the city, in such manner as the council shall deem necessary or expedient. In addition to but not as a limitation upon this general grant of power, the city shall have power to levy and collect ad valorem taxes on real estate and tangible personal property and machinery and tools; to levy and collect gross receipts taxes against public utilities; to levy and collect taxes for admission to or other charge for any public amusement, entertainment, performance, exhibition, sport or athletic event in the city, which taxes may be added to and collected with the price of such admission or other charge; to levy and collect taxes on hotel and motel rooms; unless prohibited by general law to require licenses, prohibit the conduct of any business, profession, vocation or calling without such a license, require taxes to be paid on such licenses in respect of all businesses, professions, vocations and callings which cannot, in the opinion of the council, be reached by the ad valorem system; and to require licenses of owners of vehicles of all kinds for the privilege of using the streets, and other public places in the city, require taxes to be paid on such licenses and prohibit the use of streets, alleys and other public places in the city without such license.
(b) To budget, borrow, appropriate and expend, without being bound by other provisions of this Charter, in an amount not in excess of ten (10) per cent of the total general fund budget of the preceding fiscal year, for the purpose of meeting a public emergency; provided, that any such action shall require the affirmative votes of two-thirds of the entire council and shall be in the form of an ordinance containing a clear statement of the nature and the extent of the emergency.
(c) To levy a transient occupancy tax on hotels, motels and boarding houses. Such tax
shall be in such amount and on such terms as the council may, by ordinance prescribe;
provided, that such tax shall not exceed four (4) per cent of the amount of charge for the
occupancy of any room occupied. The tax imposed hereunder shall not apply to rooms
rented for continuous occupancy for thirty or more days in hotels, motels, and boarding
Sec. 2.3. Adoption of certain provisions of Code of Virginia.
The powers set forth in Code of Virginia, §§ 15.1-837--15.1-907, as amended, as in force January 1,
1966, and any acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto, are hereby conferred on and
vested in the City of Fairfax.
Sec. 5.2. Powers.
All powers vested in the city shall be exercised by the council, except as otherwise provided in this
Charter. In addition to the foregoing, the council shall have the following powers:
(a) To provide for the organization, conduct and operation of all departments, bureaus,
divisions, boards, commissions, offices and agencies of the city.
(b) To create, alter or abolish departments, bureaus, divisions, boards, commissions and
(c) To designate the time and place for all council meetings; provided, that special
meetings of the council may be called at the request of the mayor or of not less than three
(3) members thereof.
(d) To provide for the number, titles, qualifications, power, duties and compensation of all
officers and employees of the city, and to supplement the salary of any elected official and
his deputies and employees other than the mayor and councilmen; provided, that any such
supplement shall not exceed the maximum permitted by general law.
(e) To provide for compensation of mayor in an amount not to exceed seven thousand five
hundred dollars ($7,500.00) per annum.
(f) To provide for compensation of members of boards or commissions in an amount not to
exceed fifty dollars ($50.00) per meeting.
Sec. 5.3. Mayor.
The mayor shall preside over the meetings of the council and shall have the same right to speak.
The mayor shall have the power of veto which veto may be overridden by the city council as provided
herein. He shall not have the right to vote except in case of a tie. He shall be recognized as the head
of the city government for all ceremonial purposes, the purposes of military law and the service of
civil process. In the absence or disability of the mayor, the mayor may designate a member of the
council to perform the duties of mayor and if he fails to do so the council shall, by majority vote of
those present, choose one of their number to perform the duties of mayor.
Each ordinance and resolution having the effect of an ordinance, before it becomes operative, shall
be transmitted to the mayor for his signature. The mayor shall have five (5) days. Sundays excepted,
to sign it or veto it in writing. If the mayor fails to sign it or veto it in writing within such five (5) days,
such ordinance or resolution shall become operative as if he had signed it, unless his term of office
or that of the city council shall expire within such five (5) days. If the mayor vetoes such ordinance or
resolution in writing, such written veto shall be returned to the clerk to be entered on the city
council's record and the city council shall reconsider the same at the next regular meeting. Upon
such reconsideration, if such ordinance or resolution is approved by two-thirds of all members of the
city council, it shall become operative, notwithstanding the veto of the mayor. The votes of the city
council shall be determined by yeas and nays and the names of the members voting for and against
such ordinance or resolution shall be entered on the record.