Public hearing scheduled for town budget – The Suffolk News-Herald
Suffolk residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed $767.6 million budget for the 2023 financial year on Wednesday which includes a two-cent property tax cut, would reduce the assessment ratio for cars and trucks and would add 52 full-time positions.
The public budget hearing will take place during the 6:00 p.m. City Council meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers.
The proposed budget would cut property tax from $1.11 per $100 of assessed value to $1.09 — keeping the city’s rate the third-lowest in the region, with only Virginia Beach and Chesapeake having rates lower taxes.
However, due to the 14% increase in reassessment values, this equates to an effective property tax increase, with the overall value of residential properties increasing by $781.4 million. With 36,885 residential lots in the city, this represents an average increase in value of $21,184.93 for each property.
A public hearing for the actual property tax increase is scheduled for May 4.
Citing a 2021 Real Estate Information Network market analysis report, median home sales prices rose 14.6% in 2021, from $295,000 to $338,100. According to property brokerage Redfin, homes in Suffolk sold for a median price of $368,000 in March.
Cars and trucks under two tonnes would also be assessed at 75% of their value instead of 100% currently.
According to Revenue Commissioner Susan Draper, it’s because of the unprecedented 42% increase in the assessed value of cars and light trucks. Draper presented data to the board at its April 6 meeting showing the 2022 valuation of cars and trucks to date at $1.1 billion as of January 1, with taxes to date of $45.5 million. dollars, compared to $776 million in assessments at the same time a year ago and $32.125 million in taxes.
Draper used four different vehicles as examples of how values rose.
The value of a 2017 Toyota Camry has gone from $11,330 in 2021 to $16,330 in 2022, but under a 75% valuation rate, it would instead be valued at $12,250. The value of a 2018 Toyota Rav4 has gone from $21,650 to $29,700 from 2021 to 2022, but at a 75% valuation it would be valued at $22,275. For a 2019 Chevrolet Traverse, its value has gone from $23,780 to $31,750, but if appraised at 75% of its value, it would be valued at $23,180. The 2011 Nissan Rogue valued at $3,300 in 2021 would be $4,730 in 2022, but if taken at a 75% valuation rate, it would be valued at $3,550.
The proposed budget would also maintain the line on certain other taxes and fees. It would absorb an increase in tipping fees at the regional landfill, maintain the waste fee at $25.25 per month, and leave the stormwater fee at $7.50 per equivalent residential unit.
However, it provides for a 12-cent increase in the water rate, from $10.31 to $10.43 per cubic foot, and a 50-cent increase in the meter service rate, which, according to the city manager Al Moor, would mean an average increase of $1.10 per month. The sewer rate of $7.27 per cubic foot would remain unchanged. It does not include Hampton Roads Sanitation District fees.
The budget proposes no changes for the downtown tax district (10.5 cents) and the Highway 17 tax district (24 cents).
Moor’s proposed budget also includes $8.4 million for increments resulting from the compensation study, and it fully funds the school division’s budget, although the school’s budget is dependent on this. what the General Assembly will end up doing with the state budget, and in particular, with the grocery tax.
Both the House of Delegates and the Senate are considering bills that would eliminate the food tax. The House would get rid of it at the state and local level, and the Senate would only get rid of it at the state level and retain the 1% local tax.
City Chief Financial Officer Tealen Hansen said the city could lose up to $3 million, which would be used to support the school division. However, the Senate bill would allow school divisions to be reimbursed for lost revenue. If that happens, Hansen said the city would cut $3 million from the school division because it would then get that money from the state.
Of the 52 full-time positions that would be added to the city’s budget, 18 would go to Suffolk Fire & Rescue’s second phase of hiring for the new College Drive fire station, 10 would also be split between parks and recreation and the Planning and Community Development Departments, six would go to road maintenance and city traffic engineering and another two would go to storm water staffing.
The school division is asking the city for $67.3 million, an increase of $2 million from its current budget. Its overall budget of $232.5 million includes salary increases for staff while adding 28 new positions.
The budget would also fully fund the $59.3 million worth of projects in the first year of the city’s capital improvement program and plan.
To see a copy of the proposed budget, go to https://issuu.com/cityofsuffolk/docs/proposed_fy2022-2023_operating_capital_budget?fr=sYTRmYTM1NzI5NDQ. For a copy of the budget presentation, go to https://issuu.com/cityofsuffolk/docs/fy_23_budgetpresntn_4-6-22?fr=sNWQwOTM1NzI5NDQ.