Manassas Park Property Tax Bills Expected to Rise About $400 in 2023 | New

Manassas Park homeowners will pay about $428 more in property taxes over the coming year, though city tax rates will likely drop under the proposed $142.9 million budget that the city ​​council debated on Tuesday, June 7.

Like other localities in Northern Virginia, residents are facing a double whammy from both rising property assessments and rising vehicle values, which will drive up tax bills. much higher unless tax rates are lowered. The city council has yet to pass its new budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins July 1, but is expected to do so on June 21.

Property assessments in Manassas Park have increased by more than $2.2 million over the past year, an increase of about 13%, according to City Manager Laszlo Palko. The average estimated value of a Manassas Park home has risen from $342,000 to $379,000, an 11% increase from last year, and values ​​are still on the rise due to a market “hot” residential sales, Palko said.

Council proposed a property tax of $1.49 per $100 of assessed value, which would represent a reduction of 4 cents from the current rate of $1.53. The reduction will provide about $850,000 in overall tax relief to residents, Palko said. The change is expected to reduce the average annual increase in the tax bill by about $151, which would have been about $579 under the current rate.

The council was set to cut property tax rates an additional 4 cents to $1.45 per $100 of assessed value, which they said was their “desired rate.” Palko said an additional 4 cent drop in the rate would bring the average increase in tax bills to just $276. However, that effort was thwarted when Virginia lawmakers reduced the state’s share of the grocery sales tax, part of which was transferred to localities. The city needs to replace that revenue to maintain funding for the city’s school division, Palko said.

Manassas Park Mayor Jeanette Rishell (D) said council members are ‘all disappointed that we can’t reduce [real estate] rate more,” noting his frustration with the late passage of the state budget by state lawmakers, which is still awaiting Governor Glenn Youngkin’s signature.

As for the personal property tax rate, or tax paid on vehicles, Manassas Park currently charges $3.50 per $100 of assessed value and plans to drop the rate to $3. Still, the average annual personal property tax bill will increase by about $15, Palko said.

If passed, Manassas Park’s personal property tax rate will remain by far the lowest in all of Northern Virginia. The nearby city of Manassas recently passed the second-lowest property tax rate of $3.60 per $100 of assessment. Prince William County has the third-lowest rate at $3.70, while Fairfax County charges $4.54; The Fauquier County rate is $4.65.

The estimated value of vehicles in the Manassas fleet could increase by up to 20% this year, due to supply chain issues that have increased the value of used cars across the country. The rate cut is expected to provide about $845,000 in tax relief for residents in fiscal year 2023, Palko said.

Water, garbage fees go up

The proposed budget includes a 10-cent increase in residential water rates to $3.85 per 1,000 gallons and a 16-cent increase in residential sewer rates to $6.41 per 1,000 gallons. Palko pointed to general inflation, rising wages for water and sewer workers, and rapidly rising variable costs as reasons for the increases.

Residential garbage collection rates will increase to $21.92, an increase of $1.43 per month. The jump is the result of the city’s new contract for residential garbage collection, which cost $200,000 more than the previous contract, Palko said.

The proposed budget includes annual base salary increases for city staff ranging from $3,000 to a maximum of $20,000, Palko said. After deliberations at a previous meeting, the board agreed to increase the minimum raise from $2,000 to $3,000 to begin on the path to pay equity with neighboring jurisdictions, which is a priority of the board. , said Palko. The goal was to reduce the pay gap by 75% this year, he said. The cost of the $1,000 markup added $52,000 to the proposed budget.

Manassas Park City Schools is also addressing pay gaps in their proposed budget by providing a 5% raise to teachers, Palko said, noting that the school division’s plan is to close the pay gap for all employees in the division over the next three years.

The proposed budget also includes funding for two new positions, a newly hired assistant city attorney, as well as a customer service representative in the city manager’s office.

The council planned to allocate city funds to nonprofit organizations in the amount of $25,000 to the Capital Region Food Bank and $3,000 to the Panorama Latino TV show. Vice Mayor Preston Banks questioned the decision in light of rising water and sewer rates. He said he didn’t “meant to be drastic, but we have the ability” to reallocate those funds to “put the city first.” Council member Laura Hampton noted that the food bank “supports our residents” and that council has already reduced the amount of municipal funds allocated to the food bank.