SUFFOLK Va. (WAVY) — Suffolk’s city manager is recommending the city lower the real estate tax rate in next year’s budget.

Suffolk City Manager Albert Moor III made the proposal Wednesday afternoon as he presented his fiscal year 2023 budget to City Council.

Moor proposes dropping the real estate tax rate by 2 cents, which would keep Suffolk at the third-lowest real estate tax rate in the region.

Suffolk’s real estate tax rate is currently $1.11 per $100 of assessed property value.

However, residents can still expect to pay more because assessments have gone up roughly 13%.

Increased assessments have led residents’ personal property tax bills to increase in numerous localities. The increased assessments are due to higher demand for used vehicles and the chip shortage. Many localities have worked to find solutions to give residents relief from the higher bills.

The increased assessments caused Moor to propose only taxing 75% of car and truck value for vehicles less than 2 tons.

Still, there could be a fee increase for water — around an extra $1.10 per month for the average customer that has a 5ccf combined water-sewer bill. The monthly stormwater fee would stay at $7.50. The monthly refuse charge will also stay stable at $25.25.

As far as the budget for Suffolk Public Schools, Moor proposed giving an additional $2 million to the budget this year. The schools’ local operating budget will be about $67.3 million, with their total operating budget at $232.9 million.

Suffolk employees could also see some benefits from this year’s budget. Moor recommends implementing a compensation plan — which was previously approved by City Council — that would bring employee salaries to market rate. That would cost $8.4 million to implement that plan for a full year.

The proposed budget would include 52 new full-time positions in multiple city departments. About 18 firefighters would go to the new College Drive fire station.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled April 20.

Read the full budget proposal here.