A comparison of Union County SIDs

A citywide Special Improvement District (SID) that generates $600,000 to $700,000 would be the largest single one among Union County’s 14 districts.

Most of the 10 municipalities with a SID cover a single business district but two towns have multiple districts. Elizabeth has two  — Midtown (comprising 185 retail establishments, 45 restaurants and 150 professional offices) which has a tax levy of $200,000 and Elizabeth Avenue, $250,000 — while Springfield has four districts, ranging in size from $14,281 to $123,018, with a total levy of $278,810 from some 230 properties.

The previous iteration of Rahway’s SID, which covered only the downtown business district, generated a tax levy of $130,000, which would be the eighth largest in the county. The previous largest district was Westfield, $409,605, while the average was $240,478. Here’s a look at all 10 Union County SIDs, which is all taken from the 2014 Union County Abstract of Ratables.

By my estimates, a citywide SID in Rahway would have an assessed value of around $250 million, although the 2014 Abstract of Ratables indicates $288.21 million in assessments for industrial properties (Class 4B), $51.914 million on apartments (Class 4C) and total Class 4 assessments of $465.478 million.

Friends of Rahway Business, LLC, have taken the city to court over the ordinance passed in December to expand the SID from the downtown central business district, which was created in 1993, to a citywide SID covering most commercial, industrial and multi-family properties.

The SID budget, which previously was about $130,000 each year, is expected to be in the range of $600,000 to $700,000 annually. It’s typically introduced along with the city budget, which could be introduced this month.

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