CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Homeowners in Charlottesville will see a spike in their property tax rates, but nobody is quite sure yet of exactly how much more they will pay.

2018 property assessments showed an approximate 7.9 percent increase in property value, meaning more taxes for homeowners. Now, the city is weighing a higher real estate tax for homeowners.

The real estate tax in Charlottesville is currently 95 cents for every $100 on assessed value. At a work session on Wednesday night, the city discussed raising that number by two cents, which hasn’t been done since the 1980’s.

“It’s just difficult and it’s definitely a tricky balance,” said city councilor Heather Hill. “We’re trying to find the revenue we want in order to pay for those things, but are we also making them more challenging as a result?”

The tax increase, on top of property assessments, could drive bills up by hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for homeowners. This money taxed by the city would go towards affordable housing, staff salaries, and capital funding for city schools.

“The city needs to get some other method to raise money, not tax the people,” said Charlottesville resident Leonard Taylor. “So many people like me on social security have a hard time making it. Pretty soon, the average person will have to sell their house and move into a tent.”

Councilors will have to give public notice about the increase, if it happens. The public will have a change to weigh-in on this potential two-cent increase.

“The increase in property taxes is going to put more strain on my neighbors and my friends and colleagues who already feel the constraints of the cost of living,” said Charlottesville resident Elizabeth Beasley.

By announcing the potential two-cent increase, city council is giving itself flexibility for determining the appropriate rate. The city cannot exceed 97 cents, but it could be less.