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Manassas council approves real estate tax hike

Tuesday - 5/14/2013, 7:35am  ET

MANASSAS, Va. - The Manassas City Council has approved a $328 million budget that will lead to a 7 percent hike in the average residential tax bill -- the steepest increase since 2006.

Lawmakers initially supported a hike of about 10 percent but scaled the proposal back after residents voiced opposition, InsideNova reports.

Citing city data, The Washington Post reports that even with the 7 percent increase, Manassas' average residential tax bill of $3,108 still will be the lowest in Northern Virginia.

The budget was approved Monday by a vote of 4-2. A final vote is expected on Wednesday.

Manassas Mayor Harry Parrish tells the Post the economy is improving and now is the time for investment.

Projects listed in the spending plan include work on the city's roads, sidewalks and drainage system. The biggest capital expense would be a $38 million project to build a new elementary school.

Manassas resident Toni Chapman says she would have no problem paying higher taxes as long as officials follow through with the claim that money would go toward improving the city's drainage system.

"We have to try to dig down in the ditch and stuff like that to try to make the water run evenly down," Chapman says. "We've had a problem with drainage for years and years and years."

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