Haymarket could be lowering its real estate tax rate for town homeowners.
During a work session Monday, the Town Council discussed an initial draft of the budget for fiscal 2022, which starts July 1.
The $2.3 million proposal is $180,774 smaller than the $2.48 million budget for fiscal 2021.
Town Manager Chris Coon said the spending plan reduces the town’s real estate tax rate from 13.6 cents per $100 of assessed value to 12.9 cents. Residential homeowners who live in the town limits pay the levy on top of Prince William County’s real estate tax rate.
The county has advertised a rate of $1.125 per $100 of assessed value. While the county’s rate is not increasing, officials have said residential property values have risen by an average of 7% and therefore tax bills would rise.
“Given the way the residents are being strapped by the county … we can afford to give them a break,” said Haymarket council member Bob Weir.
With the change, the town expects to bring in $371,903 in real estate tax revenue, down $3,423 from the current year.
The county is also considering a tax on cigarettes of 30 cents per pack. If approved, it would be added on top of the town’s 75-cent-per-pack levy, which is not expected to change.
The town does not impose a personal property tax, although residents pay the county’s rate. Haymarket’s 4% meals tax rate and all other levies would remain unchanged.
The town is expected to start receiving revenue through its 7% transient occupancy tax at some point during the fiscal year. Haymarket Hotel Venture LLC is building a Hilton Garden Inn at the intersection of Washington and Jefferson streets expected to be 74,888 square feet.
Coon said the hotel is projecting an opening in the first quarter of 2022.
Coon conservatively budgeted $1,000 in revenue in case the hotel doesn’t open until late in the fiscal year. Through an agreement with the hotel, the town will return a portion to the hotel for advertising and keep the rest of money for economic development projects.
The majority of changes in the budget proposal reflect expiration of grant funds or changes to insurance payments.
The spending plan includes a 3% cost-of-living increase for all employees except for Coon, who is contracted. The council said it wants to assess its pay rates for all employees in comparison to other localities and consider adjustments.
Coon also included $10,000 in the police department’s budget to pay officers overtime for increasing enforcement in certain areas of town in response to complaints from residents or business owners.
The town will discuss the budget proposal at work sessions in the coming months. The proposal is included in the agenda packet and can be found at tinyurl.com/haymarketfy22.