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What you need to know about Suffolk’s proposed 2025 budget

Suffolk City Hall (Photo by Mechelle Hankerson)
Suffolk City Hall (Photo by Mechelle Hankerson)

Suffolk passed 100,000 residents in 2023. The new budget for the fast-growing city includes more city employees, increased water and sewer rates to serve all the new residents and funding for Suffolk’s first city-owned homeless shelter.

The budget in full is available here — below are some of the highlights.

Though the real estate tax rate won’t change, it’s likely tax bills will.

The citywide tax rate will remain at $1.09 per $100 of assessed value, according to the city. 

But recent property assessments are up by 5.4% — meaning residents who own their homes will likely see that rise reflected in their tax bills, similar to other Hampton Roads cities. 

The city estimates real estate tax bills will go up by an average of around 7%.

Suffolk is expanding the city workforce to accommodate population growth.

The city is planning to add 44 new full-time jobs, and make a 4% cost of living adjustment for existing employees to keep wages competitive with surrounding localities.

“Additional personnel resources are needed to keep pace with the workload and service demand in a number of departments,” City Manager Albert Moor wrote in his budget memo.

Moor wrote other localities increased their salaries, leaving some Suffolk city jobs earning below the regional average.

Water and sewer rates will increase.

Suffolk has to contract with Norfolk and Portsmouth for water purchases, since its surface and groundwater can’t sustain the growing population.

Those contracts are due to increase by more than $440,000 in the next year. 

Suffolk said residents should see around a 2.8% increase in their monthly water and sewer bills, not including any rate changes Hampton Roads Sanitation District makes.

The budget includes money to fund the city’s emergency shelter.

Suffolk is renovating a Pruden Boulevard motel into its first-ever city homeless shelter

During the height of the pandemic, Deputy City Manager Kevin Hughes said hotels and motels were used as temporary housing.

“Hotel rooms were used essentially to kind of get folks off the street and provide some assistance,” Hughes said. "But that really was just putting a Band-Aid on a wound.”

The new budget includes $850,000 for the city shelter, which is under construction.

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