PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth will maintain its real estate tax rate for the upcoming budget year, remaining the highest in the region.

On Tuesday, Portsmouth City Council approved its fiscal year 2023 budget with a series of votes. Many were not unanimous.

The real estate tax rate will stay at $1.30 per $100 of the assessed value, where it has been for seven years. Residents should expect higher tax bills because residential property assessment growth is projected to increase by $8.6 million, or 8%.

City Council previously approved a 25% ratio assessment reduction in personal property tax to offset increased assessed values for used vehicles.

The stormwater fee will also increase by 75 cents to $13.50/equivalent residential unit to help flood protection projects. Water and sewer rates will increase by 5% to $5.01 per 1,000 gallons for sewer and $6.37 per 1,000 gallons for water.

The budget also includes 3-5% pay increases for city employees and a $1.2-million increase in funding to Portsmouth City Schools compared to the previous year. 

The approved budget increases school renovation projects by $9.8 million from the city manager’s plan, with the majority going to I.C. Norcom High School field Improvements.

The budget sets aside $4 million over the next five years for a new City Hall design and more than $1 million for amenity additions to the Atlantic Union Bank and Trust Pavilion.