Manassas Park will hold the line on property taxes this year, says city manager Jerry Davis. Even so, its tax rate apparently will remain the highest in Virginia.
The fiscal 1983-84 budget adopted by the City Council calls for no increases in any city taxes except the sewer and water rate, which will rise an average 11 percent. Minimum charges will increase rates as much as 19 percent for residents using relatively little water, however, and about 8 percent for large-volume water users.
The city tax rate, which remains at $1.90 per $100 of assessed valuation, still appears to be the highest in the state, according to a study by the University of Virginia's Institute of Government.
The $4.35 million general fund budget is up only $100,000 over this year's $4.25 million budget, half of which is earmarked for schools. While the school budget is up about 4 percent, most of that will be funded by increased state and federal aid, which pays for about half of the schools' operating costs.
Davis said last week he expects the property tax rate to remain at the same rate next year as well but reassessments, scheduled for next year, should boost the value of most homes and thus tax bills, too. The city reassesses property every other year instead of annually as most Northern Virginia localities do.
A Virginia Education Association comparison of 1980 property tax rates, which apparently used UVA study figures, concluded Manassas Park residents paid by far the highest property taxes in the state -- $1,656 a year for an average $80,000 home -- based on an "effective, true tax rate" that takes into consideration different assessment techniques used by localities across the state.
The lowest rate is paid by Cumberland County residents, who pay $104 a year for an $80,000 home.
Four other area localities are among the top 10 in tax rates, according to the VEA: Prince William County, where residents pay $976 in taxes on the same $80,000 home; Fairfax County $960; and Alexandria and Fairfax City, both $928.