Unless Fairfax County can somehow earn the sympathy of the Gates Foundation, money for teacher and public employee raises is looking like an incredible stretch.

Even without raises, the county is facing a $50 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2012 (beginning in July, 2011), said Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova in her state of the county address on Thursday morning. Salary hikes for county employees would up that by about $33 million, and bumps for teachers would slap on $74 million more.

While the shortfall is significantly less than last year's $257 million, it comes on the heels of two years of significant shortfalls, and an overall reduction of $200 million to the county's $3.3 billion general fund.

The fiscal pain likely won't stop employees from demanding their fair share, however. They've gone two years without an increase, even as some neighboring jurisdictions have seen their paychecks increase slightly.