ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – A Roanoke budget meeting got tense on Tuesday when leaders listened to public comments about the city’s budget.

One hot topic approached by residents on Tuesday, April 26 was personal property tax increases. A resident of Roanoke, Octavia Johnson, told city council members that she and others were blindsided by the increase that she said happened without a warning.

“Members of the council knew that the personal property taxes could increase up to 50% depending on your vehicle, as you were elected by the citizens of Roanoke I believe that you have the responsibility to inform us of this as you did the five-cent bag tax,” said Johnson.

Firefighters also took to the podium to voice their concerns on how the city is planning to implement a new pay scale for first responders and police.

Roanoke Fire-EMS Capt. Andy Foley said if it goes into effect without any changes, there will be a lot of inequality among the ranks and could even mean a regular firefighter makes more than a ranking officer.

Foley said they do have an alternate plan if the council would agree to take another look.

The Roanoke City Council is set to discuss the budget again the week of May 1.