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County to review sign ordinance

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed Planning and Zoning Department staff Tuesday to begin reviewing the county’s sign ordinances, specifically focusing on electronic signs.

Last month, the county was sued by a Vienna church that was told that it was in violation of the sign ordinance after displaying three different messages during the course of one day, one more than the limit.

County staff will not take any enforcement actions against electronic signs until the ordinance update is complete, according to Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova (D-At large).

County car tax due Oct. 5

Fairfax County is reminding county residents that car taxes are due by Oct. 5. The tax bills can be paid by mail, online, in person at the Fairfax County Government Center, or by phone at 703-222-6740.

Residents also can pay the tax bill at Bank of America, Sun Trust and Wells Fargo branches within the county; at Shoppers Food and Pharmacy stores; and at Global Express.

Service fees are applied to many of the payment options, including online payments. For more details on payment options go to http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/pay-car-taxes/.

Former prosecutor enters Virginia A.G. race

Former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax of Annandale announced Thursday that he is running as a Democrat for the post of Virginia attorney general next year.

Fairfax was a prosecutor in the major crimes and narcotics unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. He previously worked at a private law firm.

“Virginians deserve an attorney general with law enforcement experience who will protect them and provide a fresh start free of the same old politics of the past,” Fairfax said in a released statement accompanying his announcement.

Virginia sees boost from tourism

Visitors to Virginia generated $20.4 billion in revenue from tourism in 2011, an 8 percent increase from 2010, according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation. In 2011, tourism in Virginia supported 207,000 jobs, an increase of nearly 2 percent in employment, and provided more than $1.32 billion in state and local taxes.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation receives its annual economic impact data from the U.S. Travel Association. The information is based on spending by visitors within the United States traveling 50 miles or more away from home.

“These new figures highlight the importance of continuing to invest in tourism as an instant revenue generator for Virginia,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement announcing the figures earlier this month. “I’ve made tourism a key part of my administration’s economic development initiatives and it’s encouraging to see the positive return on investment.”