The Leesburg Town Council has raised the property tax rate 3 cents and utility rates 30 cents.

The rate increases are part of a $5.2 million fiscal 1983 budget approved last week. The new property tax rate will be 20 cents for each $100 of assessed property value and the new water and sewer rate will be $3.18 for 1,000 gallons starting Jan. 1.

"We haven't changed the tax rate in four or five years and Old Man Inflation finally caught up with us," Mayor G. Dewey Hill said. "The tax rate increase will give us more of a surplus fund. We needed a margin of safety there. Without the increase, our surplus would have been below $20,000 and now we will have $100,000 in it."

Town Manager John Niccolls said the recession has slowed construction, forcing the town to increase utility fees because of a 60 percent drop in one-time hookup fees. Leesburg fell $400,000 short of the amount the council had anticipated in hookup fees.

The council also raised auto tag fees from $15 to $20, Niccolls said. If the council had not brought its fees in line with Loudoun County's, "the county would have gotten that additional revenue," he said.

The fiscal 1983 budget, about 1 percent higher than last year's spending plan, calls for $680,000 to extend and improve Catoctin Circle, Harrison Street and Rte. 7 East. Town employes got a 4 percent cost-of-living increase in the budget, which earmarked $1.1 million for employee salaries and benefits.

In another action, the council adopted an ordinance requiring smoke detectors in multifamily dwellings (buildings with more than four units), hotels, motels and rooming houses.

The council also agreed to buy 8.8 acres for $88,000 to extend Catoctin Circle from Dry Mill Road to West Market Street. The vacant land, owned by Leesburg residents Arl and Katherine Curry, will open up the southwest link of a road looping around downtown.