RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Three proposals to set Richmond’s real estate tax rate for next year were moved forward to the City Council without recommendations after councilors said they needed answers on how reducing the rate would impact the city.

Calls to cut the rate have grown since the average assessed value of a home in the city increased by 13.04% for 2023. The Richmond City Council’s Finance and Economic Development Standing Committee heard three different proposals Monday.

One measure supported by Mayor Levar Stoney’s administration would keep the rate at $1.20 per $100 of assessed value, another would put it at $1.16 and the other would drop it to $1.10.

A city resident with property assessed at $400,000 would have an annual tax bill of $4,800 under the city’s current tax rate. With the 13% jump, the property owner would pay $624 more than the year before.

After a long discussion about Richmond’s real estate tax rate, the subcommittee opted to send the proposals to the full City Council without recommending whether to approve or reject them.

“Everything is a shot in the dark,” Michael Jones, Richmond’s 9th District Councilmember, said Monday about deciding on a proposal without information on its fiscal impact. “That’s not good enough.”

Jones said he supports a cut down to $1.16 but that he needs to learn more about the potential ramifications before making a final vote. He noted Monday that when he tried to get the same 4-cent reduction through a budget amendment, the council rejected the effort.

“We have to change how we approach the budget. I was right with $1.16,” Jones said, adding that discussing a change to the rate during the budget process would give the city time to discuss the economic impact. “Right now, the administration can’t tell me what will be cut.”

The councilors on the subcommittee asked the city administration to provide a presentation on the fiscal impact reducing the rate would have.

Richmond City Council President Cynthia Newbille has proposed a measure to keep the tax rate at $1.20. Councilmembers Kristen Nye and Reva Trammell have introduced legislation that would drop Richmond’s real estate tax rate by 4 cents.

But Trammell has gone a step further, introducing an ordinance to cut the rate down to $1.10, a measure she said Monday that she doesn’t expect to get enough votes.

When the proposal from Nye and Trammell was discussed, Nye made a motion to have the subcommittee recommend its approval to the full council. The effort failed when Jones and City Council Vice President Ellen F. Robertson didn’t second the motion.

If the total property tax revenue exceeds the previous year by 1% because of an increase in real estate assessments, the tax rate would drop to $1.071 unless a change is approved by the council.

Lincoln Saunders, Richmond’s chief administrative officer, told the subcommittee that Mayor Stoney is considering introducing an ordinance to provide a 4-cent rebate for taxpayers but that the administration supports Newbille’s proposal to keep the tax rate the same.

Saunders told the subcommittee that the administration believes it’s “sounder fiscal policy” to offer the one-time rebate later this year or in early 2023 instead of changing the rate altogether.

Under state law, assistance from the city can only go to residents 65 and older or those who are disabled who made less than $60,000 the previous tax year and have less than $350,000 in assets.