Manassas Park, the city with the highest property tax rate in Virginia, may lose that distinction after the coming fiscal year's budget is approved April 27.
A 45-cent reduction in the property tax rate, lowering it to $1.85 per $100 of assessed value, has been proposed by Manassas Park's acting city manager, Jerry Davis.
Most Manassas Park homeowners, however, will be hit this year with a 25 percent average increase in the assessed value of their homes because of a general reassessment that is made every two years.
In a message to the Manassas Park City Council, Davis last week recommended a $4.1 million operating budget for fiscal 1983. That represents a 7 percent increase over the current fiscal year's budget.
"We have never enjoyed the dubious distinction of having the highest tax rate in Virginia," Davis said. "So we felt an obligation to get it below $2 this year. We've had the highest tax rate in the state since Manassas Park became a city in 1975."
Under Davis' proposed budget, seven positions would be eliminated from the city staff to save about $100,000 in salaries and benefits. He also suggests "reclassifying the salary scale, which would mean an average salary increase of 5 percent," rather than an across-the-board, cost-of-living raise for the city staff.
"If anything is going to be emphasized this coming year, it will be putting our streets and roads in repair," said Davis, who proposes doubling the operating budget for road repair to $134,338 and spending $900,000 of the capital-improvements budget on street construction and renovation.
The biggest share of the proposed operating budget--53 percent--would be spent on schools. Davis is recommending a 6.4 percent increase in school spending, for a total of $2.2 million.