NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — There’s no change to the property tax rate after revisions to Norfolk’s proposed fiscal year 2024 budget, but residents will see some decreases in fees from the initial proposal.

A planned increase in various parking fees (including a $16 per month increase in unreserved spots) was removed and the city’s motor vehicle license fees ($31 for small cars/trucks) will be suspended for a second straight year, according to City Manager Chip Filer’s budget reconciliation proposal.

Filer, who presented his revised budget to Norfolk City Council on Tuesday during their informal session, says that the overall budget has decreased in size by about $1.45 million to $1.439 billion overall.

“The bottom line for the taxpayers is through the reconciliation process, we not only added more of the things you all said were particularly important, but we also found a way to overall trim the budget in FY24 and remained balanced,” Filer said.

Add-ons to the budget include more funding ($532,202) for the city’s upcoming real-time crime center, $1.5 million for a one-time retirement supplement and $454,897 in funding for outside agencies like the Chrysler Museum of Art and Virginia Stage Company.

There’s also $1 million added for to complete design work for a future renovation of Chrysler Hall.

That’s all in addition to previous features of the initial proposal such as 5% raises for employees and a $10.5 million increase for Norfolk Public Schools.

To free up space, the biggest decrease in the budget came from eliminating the parking fees increases of $3.2 million, which simultaneously “removed all of the expenses associated with that,” Filer says.

“To balance the parking enterprise fund, the department’s expenditure appropriation for debt service will be reduced by $3,236,751 to account for the revenue impact of removing the proposed fee increases,” the reconciliation memo reads.

Other expenditure reductions included eliminating long-term vacant positions ($775K), as well as reducing contributions to the city’s VRS reserve ($1 million) and FSA benefit reserve ($1 million),

“The reduction of both of these reserves is in line with what we’re actually seeing as the take up rate in both of these benefits, so we feel really comfortable with that … all of our reserve policies have been met,” Filer said.

There’s also about a $22.6 million decrease in the reconciliation in debt issuance through the city’s CIP through reducing the city’s $36.4 million local match for the downtown flood wall in the fiscal year 2024 budget (from $93 million to $56.6 million). Filer says the entire match $93 million match is no longer necessary due to updates in the cost and timeline, and the money will be used in later years beyond the FY 2024-2028 CIP.

So is there any chance of additional relief for citizens?

Filer says he and city staff are looking at the possibility of using revenues from Norfolk’s planned (but still not done deal) casino, and the creation of revenue sources to pay for downtown projects like the floodwall, to help ease the burden on taxpayers overall.

Councilman Tommy Smigiel on Tuesday floated the option of taking unspent funds at the end of the year and sending it to taxpayers in the form of a rebate.

“We had leftover funds last year, quite a bit, and you could take that money and rebate it back … if Portsmouth was able to do it we should be able to do something.”

Norfolk leaders are expected to continue to work on the budget before a scheduled vote on June 13. You can read the full reconciliation proposal from Filer below.