Newport News proposes dropping real estate tax rate

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — For the first time in more than a decade, the City of Newport News is recommending a decrease in its real estate tax rate.

Newport News City Manager Cynthia Rohlf presented her proposed fiscal year 2023 budget to City Council Tuesday night.

The $1.04 billion budget proposes dropping the real estate tax rate by 2 cents, to $1.20 per $100 of assessed property value. If the budget is approved, that would provide about $4 million in tax relief to city residents.

Rohlf also recommends Newport News temporarily lower its personal property tax rate by 25% to counter increased assessed values for used cars, which have gone up by about 33%. Tax relief would total about $16.8 million between the current fiscal year and the first half of fiscal year 2023.

City employees could see a general wage adjustment of 5% effective July 1 under Rohlf’s plan. Police department employees — officers and civilians — would see a midnight shift pay differential.

The budget includes fully funding the school’s operating request, which would boost most full-time employees’ salaries and raise starting pay. The average teacher would see a 6.5% increase. The starting salary for teachers with a bachelor’s degree and no experience under the proposed budget would also increase from $47,000 to $50,000.

Pay for support staff and bus drivers would increase as well.

Rohlf recommends adding and converting some positions related to health, safety and well-being to aid employees supporting those living through homelessness, the commonwealth’s attorneys office and the police department.

Click here to read the full memo on the Newport News proposed FY2023 budget.